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JC's Dodger Line Drives | July 3: Dodgers Dominate in Manny's Return

SAN DIEGO - JULY 3:  Manny Ramirez #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers walks in the first inning against the San Diego Padres during the game on July 3, 2009 at Petco Park in San Diego, California. Ramirez walked against pitcher Chad Gaudin #49 of the San Diego Padres in his first at bat since returning from a 50-game suspension. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
J.C. AyvaziSenior Analyst IJuly 4, 2009

The Los Angeles Dodgers welcomed Manny Ramirez back into the starting lineup, at a sold-out Petco Park in San Diego.

Dodger fans made the trip south en masse, at times out-vocalizing the home town Padre fans, to welcome back their slugging outfielder from his 50-game banishment for violating baseball's PED rules.

In his first at bat, Manny drew a walk in the middle of a Dodger five-run outburst, which pretty much ended the game as soon as it started.

He grounded out in the second and fourth innings, then ended his evening after popping up to second to finish out the sixth inning.

Juan Pierre came in for Manny in the bottom of the sixth inning and made a fine catch at the wall to close out the eighth inning, robbing Adrian Gonzalez of extra bases.

Afterwards, Manny thanked the many Dodger fans who made the trip to San Diego to support him and the team. 

He said he felt great and looks forward to playing in the game tomorrow afternoon, a game that will be on the FOX Network. Later, Torre confirmed Manny will be in the lineup on Saturday.

Manny praised his teammates and Pierre in particular for all the great work they continue to do, pointing to their offensive ability and professionalism.

 

Back to the Top

The real star of the night was leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal, who started the game off with a line drive single. For the night, Furcal was 4-for-5 with a double and run scored. He also stole his fifth base of the season.

 

Strong-Arming the Friars

Dodger starter Hiroki Kuroda picked up his third win on the year, going 5.1 innings conceding four hits and three runs, all earned. He walked two and struck out two throwing 88 pitches, 56 for strikes.

Scott Hairston took him deep for the first Padre run in the fourth. Kuroda could only retire one hitter in the sixth, leaving after Gonzalez doubled home two runs.

Guillermo Mota came on to quell the uprising, then punched out two Pads in the seventh inning. He retired all five batters he faced in the game. Mota has allowed only one run in his last 18 appearances, and none in his last six.

Ramon Troncoso got the first two outs of the eighth inning before walking Hairston. Brent Leach came in to retire Gonzales and turn matters over to the Dodger closer.

Jonathan Broxton collected his 20th save, striking out two of the three batters he faced. Eight of his 10 pitches broke the 100 mph barrier on the San Diego speed gun.

 

Rest Does Good

Dodger catcher Russell Martin had played two innings over the last three days. The rest seemed to be positive, as he collected two singles and drove in a run in the first and another on a ground out in the third.

 

Up Next

The next two games will be afternoon affairs, Saturday's start time on the FOX Network at 1:10 PM Pacific and Sunday at 1:05 on KCAL Channel 9.

Saturday, the Dodgers will send Randy Wolf (3-3, 3.61) against San Diego's Josh Geer (1-3, 5.68).

On Sunday, LA's ace Chad Billingsley (9-4, 3.12) will battle Josh Banks (1-0, 3.38).

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