for this game

Ramirez hitless in return from suspension

Jul 4, 2009 - 8:24 AM By BERNIE WILSON AP Sports Writer

SAN DIEGO(AP) -- Manny Ramirez is back in the big leagues. His bat might soon follow.

Returning from his 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy, the Los Angeles slugger barely hit the ball out of the infield in the Dodgers' 6-3 win over the San Diego Padres on Friday night.

He did provide a lot of energy to the team with baseball's best record.

"It was great," Ramirez said. "I was kind of nervous at first, but once I stepped to the plate I was fine."

With more than half the crowd at sold-out Petco Park wearing Dodger blue and cheering him on, Ramirez went 0 for 3 with a walk. The farthest he hit the ball was a popup that second baseman David Eckstein caught in shallow center field.

He showed a good eye during his first at-bat, fouling off three pitches before walking. Right-hander Chad Gaudin brushed back Ramirez with the first pitch. Ramirez just smiled.

It was a loud at-bat, with Dodgers fans standing and cheering, and Padres fans trying to drown them out with boos.

Ramirez expects to be in the lineup for Saturday afternoon's game.

"I need a couple more games under my belt. It's going to take time," he said.

"I thought the first-inning walk was amazing, considering the 2-2 count and he worked the walk," manager Joe Torre said. "I'd be a little jumpy if I were him. There's no question he's rusty. The only way you can play this game is practice it, and he really hasn't had a lot of practice."

Ramirez popped up to end the sixth, jogged to the dugout to get his glove and cap, then headed for the clubhouse, his night finished.

Ramirez was cheered when he caught Chase Headley's flyball to end the second inning. He took off his cap as he approached the dugout and gave a security guard a playful tap on the head with it.

The fan reaction "was great, man. It was the best. I want to thank all my fans," Ramirez said. "I think they drove from L.A. just to watch the game and to watch me. It was unbelievable."

Torre said he sensed the Dodgers were excited to have Ramirez back.

"It just feels like the atmosphere had little bubbles in it today, for me," Torre said. "So hopefully we can hold on to that for a while."

There didn't appear to be any problems with the crowd. Some fans brought signs, including one in the left-field stands that read "RAMROID," and some fans wore yellow T-shirts that crudely mocked the slugger.

Ramirez's ban was based on evidence he used human chorionic gonadotropin, a fertility drug that's banned by baseball, a person familiar with the suspension told The Associated Press after the suspension was announced on May 7, speaking on condition of anonymity because those details were not released.

HCG is popular among steroid users because it can mitigate the side effects of ending a cycle of the drugs.

Rafael Furcal had a season-high four hits for the Dodgers and Russell Martin drove in two runs.

Cardinals 7, Reds 4=

At Cincinnati, Albert Pujols hit his club-record fourth grand slam of the season, and Jarrett Hoffpauir drove in the go-ahead runs in the ninth inning with his first career hit for St. Louis.

Hoffpauir, playing his first major league game after being recalled Wednesday from Triple-A Memphis, capitalized on shortstop Paul Janish's two-out error with a bases-loaded single off Daniel Ray Herrera (1-4) to snap a 4-4 tie.

Pujols, who leads the majors with 31 home runs and 82 RBIs, added an RBI double in the ninth.

Giants 13, Astros 0=

At San Francisco, Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run homer to stake San Francisco rookie Ryan Sadowski to an early lead.

Travis Ishikawa added a three-run homer that was initially ruled a double before the umpire crew went to the replay booth, Randy Winn added a two-run triple and Nate Schierholtz an RBI single in the Giants' six-run second inning that chased Felipe Paulino (2-5).

Rockies 5, Diamondbacks 0=

At Denver, Jorge De La Rosa pitched eight innings and Ian Stewart hit a solo homer for Colorado.

De La Rosa (5-7), who has never had a complete game, won for the fifth time in six starts, allowing four hits and striking out six.

Max Scherzer (5-6) allowed six hits over six innings as the Diamondbacks lost for the eighth time in nine games.

Pirates 7, Marlins 4=

At Miami, Brandon Moss and Ramon Vazquez homered and Charlie Morton (1-1) pitched six shutout innings for Pittsburgh.

Hanley Ramirez failed to drive in a run for the first time in 11 games for Florida, which was coming off a three-game sweep of Washington.

Florida starter Chris Volstad (5-8) allowed four runs and three hits in three innings.

Braves 9, Nationals 8=

At Washington, pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh inning and Atlanta won its season-high fifth straight.

Conrad, a 29-year-old rookie whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Gwinnett to replace the injured Kelly Johnson, crushed a fastball from Jesus Colome (1-1) for his first career homer.

Phillies 7, Mets 2=

At Philadelphia, Rodrigo Lopez took a three-hitter into the seventh inning in his first outing in two years, helping Philadelphia snap a six-game home losing streak.

Lopez (1-0) allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings to earn his first win since beating the Phillies on July 7, 2007, when he played for Colorado. The right-hander hadn't pitched in the majors since having elbow ligament replacement surgery 23 months ago.

Jayson Werth hit a solo homer and Jimmy Rollins had two hits and two RBIs for the Phillies.

Cubs 2, Brewers 1, 10 innings=

At Chicago, the Cubs' Jake Fox drew a bases-loaded walk from Mark DiFelice (4-1) to force in the winning run with two outs in the 10th inning.

Kevin Gregg (3-2) allowed one hit in two innings for the win.






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    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Dodgers 6, Padres 3  FinalJul 4 3:05 AM
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    Dodgers 6, Padres 3  FinalJul 4 1:13 AM


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    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    LA DODGERS 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 9 0
    SAN DIEGO 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 3 4 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: LOS - HIROKI KURODA, GUILLERMO MOTA (6TH), RAMON TRONCOSO (8TH),
    BRENT LEACH (8TH), JONATHAN BROXTON (9TH) AND RUSSELL MARTIN
    SDG - CHAD GAUDIN, LUIS PERDOMO (6TH),

    Jul 4 1:05 AM


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    AT SAN DIEGO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ADRIAN GONZALEZ SCORED TONY GWYNN JR. AND DAVID
    ECKSTEIN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A GONZALEZ ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 6
    SAN DIEGO 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: K KOUZMANOFF (.234, 0-FOR-2)

    Dodgers 6, Padres 3  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 4 12:02 AM


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    AT SAN DIEGO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY SCOTT HAIRSTON (10) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 4TH OFF HIROKI KURODA.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 6, SAN DIEGO 1
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: A GONZALEZ (.264, 0-FOR-1)

    Dodgers 6, Padres 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsJul 3 11:31 PM


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    AT SAN DIEGO - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY RUSSELL MARTIN SCORED ANDRE ETHIER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C BLAKE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 6
    SAN DIEGO 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: M KEMP (.305, 1-FOR-1, 2 RBI)

    Dodgers 6, Padres 0  Top 3, 0 OutsJul 3 11:15 PM


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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    LA DODGERS 5 5 4 0
    SAN DIEGO 0 0 1 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: LOS - HIROKI KURODA
    SDG - CHAD GAUDIN

    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: T GWYNN JR. (.308, 1 HR, 7 RBI)
    D ECKSTEIN (.270, 1 HR, 31 RBI)
    S HAIRSTON (.314, 9 HR, 28

    Dodgers 5, Padres 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsJul 3 10:54 PM
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    Dodgers vs. PadresJul 3 9:37 PM