Hanley's first Dodgers homer beats Giants
Hanley's first Dodgers homer beats Giants
Hanley Ramirez can't even hope to duplicate Manny's legendary second-half impact in 2008, but Hanley is already part of Giant-killing lore after launching a game-winning two-run homer in the 10th inning Friday night as the Dodgers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory.
The Dodgers had two out and nobody on against Sergio Romo when Andre Ethier walked on a close 3-2 pitch.
"That's one we definitely want," said Giants catcher Buster Posey. "I guess [plate umpire Ed Hickox] saw it (as) inside."Romo then hung an 0-1 slider to Ramirez, who sent it into the bleachers in left-center. Ramirez was 1-for-7 with four strikeouts previously against Romo.
Like Manny, Hanley Ramirez not only has a flair for the dramatic, but he likes the spotlight. He posed at the plate, mugged for the dugout between second and third and was greeted like a hero when he rejoined his teammates after the trot.
"Did you see it?" Ramirez said, explaining that by cupping his hands around his eyes he was making sure Dee Gordon saw the blast. "He told me to, if I hit a home run."
Three days into his new job, Ramirez is taking literally management's suggestion that he consider the Wednesday trade a fresh start after the drama that surrounded him in recent years with the Marlins.
"We're just having fun. That's what we're doing here," he said. "That's what I've been told. Play hard and have fun. That's the key."
He said veteran coach Manny Mota, who has known Ramirez since he was a teenager, has already taken him under his wing.
"He spoke to me, told me not to try to do too much," said Ramirez. "Do what you know how to do. I give credit to him. He's a great guy. He's been here many years; I've got a lot to learn from him."
Teammates are already just enjoying Ramirez's impact.
"I was watching him in [batting practice] and there's just a different sound off his bat," said catcher A.J. Ellis. "He adds another lethal bat to our lineup. He's energized the team."
The last time the Dodgers were at AT&T Park a month ago, they were swept by the Giants. They also were without Matt Kemp and Mark Ellis and lost Andre Ethier to injury in the finale.
Now they're all in the lineup, joined by the impact bat of Ramirez, with more help expected before Tuesday's Trade Deadline.
"We were a little bit different club back then, on the downstroke, about as low as we could get," said manager Don Mattingly. "This series is bigger for us than for them. We have to re-establish ourselves in the race."
The win cut the Giants' lead to two games and the Dodgers did it the hard way. There was a second solid no-decision start from rookie Stephen Fife, recalled earlier in the day to fill the fifth starter role left vacant with Nathan Eovaldi's trade.
Taking on All-Star starter Matt Cain, Fife allowed one run on six hits over 6 1/3 innings, had his first hit -- a double -- and scored his first run. He has a 1.46 ERA in two Major League starts, the other a no-decision against Cy Young winner Roy Halladay.
"It doesn't matter to me who's across on the bump," said Fife. "I've started against two guys that are All-Stars, but my job is to keep us in the game, battle and give us a chance and get as deep as I can."
Fife's first Major League win, however, got away when Ronald Belisario allowed a pair of eighth-inning runs, the sixth time in the last 10 games Belisario has been scored upon.
"A little bit," Mattingly said when asked if he was concerned about Belisario. "He's in a little stretch. Kenley [Jansen] had one, Javy [Guerra] had one. I'm not going to lose faith in him. It goes back to positive vibe. The ball's coming out fine. He'll be fine, he's just giving up runs lately."
With Josh Lindblom unavailable, Mattingly having used Randy Choate and Jamey Wright in the seventh and Belisario in the eighth, rookie Shawn Tolleson got the ball in the ninth. Recalled Wednesday after being sent down Tuesday, he didn't allow a ball to be hit out of the infield, pitching a scoreless bottom of the ninth, and earned his first Major League victory.
Jansen allowed a pair of no-out singles despite behind ahead in both counts, then put down the threat for his 20th save.