Ramirez's blast lifts Dodgers, 2-1
LOS ANGELES — All it took was one swing by Manny Ramirez against reliever Sergio Romo to waste Barry Zito's prime performance.
Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter, lifting the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 2-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants yesterday. It was his 548th home run, tying Mike Schmidt for 14th place on the career list.
"It's unbelievable," Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal said. "We didn't get a run last night, and we went 17 innings without scoring any runs. And then for Manny to come in and hitting a big home run like that, that's impressive. It's a great win for us."
The two-time defending NL West champion Dodgers were five outs away from being blanked for the second time in two days. On Saturday, two-time reigning Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum held them to four singles over six innings in a 9-0 win.
Ramirez, who didn't start for the second straight day because of tightness in his right calf, drove a 1-2 pitch from Romo (0-1) into the left-field pavilion with one out after Zito walked pinch-hitter Garret Anderson to end his day.
Ramon Troncoso (1-0) retired Juan Uribe on a fielder's choice with the bases loaded to end the eighth to earn the victory. Jonathan Broxton pitched a perfect ninth to convert his first save opportunity of the season.
Ramirez's homer was his second as a pinch-hitter in 18 big league seasons.
The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw gave up four hits and four walks over seven-plus innings and struck out nine. The 22-year-old lefty was pulled after walking Eugenio Velez to open the eighth.
Marlins 2, Phillies 0: Nate Robertson pitched into the seventh inning and Dan Uggla drove in both runs with a homer and a double in visiting Florida's second straight win over Philadelphia. Making his third start for Florida after being acquired in a trade from the Detroit Tigers before the end of spring training, Robertson (2-0) weaved in and out of trouble, striking out four and walking four.
Astros 3, Cubs 2: Pedro Feliz hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the 10th inning after Geoff Blum tied it with an RBI double in the ninth for visiting Houston. Jason Michaels led off the 10th inning with a double off Sean Marshall (0-1). Michaels moved to third on Michael Bourn's sacrifice. After an intentional walk to Jeff Keppinger, Feliz flied out to left-center to score Michaels.
Pirates 5, Reds 3: Paul Maholm pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning, Jason Jaramillo had a three-run double and host Pittsburgh completed a three-game sweep. The Reds' Jay Bruce hit his first two homers of the season, solo shots in the fifth off Maholm (1-1) and the ninth off Octavio Dotel.
BRAVES 4, ROCKIES 3: Rookie Jason Heyward hit a two-run single with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning, lifting host Atlanta over Colorado. The Braves rallied in the ninth off Rockies fill-in closer Franklin Morales (0-1), who loaded the bases by giving up a single and two walks.
Brewers 11, Nationals 7: Craig Counsell's grand slam highlighted a 10-run first inning, and visiting Milwaukee held on against Washington. Jason Marquis (0-3, 20.52 ERA) was pulled before recording an out. He faced seven batters, and all reached base: four singles, two hit batters, one walk. Reliever Miguel Batista served up Counsell's first homer of the season.
Padres 5, Diamondbacks 3: Chase Headley hit a go-ahead, two-run double with two outs in the seventh and host San Diego rallied for five runs. Reliever Edward Mujica (1-1) pitched two innings for the win. He allowed Mark Reynolds' homer into the first row of the second deck in left field leading off the seventh for a 2-0 Arizona lead.
Cardinals 5, Mets 3: Adam Wainwright (3-0) threw a four-hitter with nine strikeouts and scored on Ryan Ludwick's tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning for host St. Louis. Ludwick hit the first pitch from Ryota Igarashi over the left-field wall to score Wainwright, who had doubled off reliever Pedro Feliciano with one out.
Royals 10, Twins 5: Alberto Callaspo had two home runs and a career-high six RBIs for visiting Kansas City. Josh Rupe struck out Jim Thome with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh to preserve a two-run lead, and Jesse Crain served up Callaspo's second three-run homer of the game in the ninth to put the game out of reach.
Angels 3, Blue Jays 1: Ervin Santana came within one strike of a shutout and visiting Los Angeles beat Toronto. Hideki Matsui had a pair of doubles and an RBI for Los Angeles, while Santana (1-2) set down 17 in a row before Adam Lind homered to right on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth.
Tigers 4, Mariners 2: Max Scherzer pitched six solid innings, Miguel Cabrera hit a three-run homer into the second deck and visiting Detroit avoided a three-game sweep. Scherzer (1-1) gave up just a pair of runs and scattered six hits as the Tigers stopped Seattle's four-game win streak.
Rays 7, Red Sox 1: Matt Garza pitched shutout ball for eight innings, and Carlos Pena and B.J. Upton each hit two-run homers for visiting Tampa Bay. Garza (3-0) allowed four hits, struck out five and walked two before Mike Ekstrom worked the ninth.
Indians 7, White Sox 4: Shin-Soo Choo hit a grand slam and drove in five runs, leading Cleveland to its first three-game home sweep of Chicago since May 2003. Choo went 2 for 3 with a walk, hitting his second career slam in the second inning off Gavin Floyd (0-2).
YANKEES 5, RANGERS 2: Mark Teixeira hit his first home run of the season, leading Andy Pettitte and host New York beat Texas. Pettitte (2-0) pitched four-hit ball for eight innings as the Yankees won their fourth in a row.
Orioles 8, Athletics 3: Ty Wigginton homered and drove in four runs to help visiting Baltimore snap a nine-game skid. Baltimore's Brian Matusz (2-0) struck out eight, allowing three runs on eight hits and one walk in 6 1/3 innings.