Just maybe Manager Don Mattingly was onto something with his belief that as Hanley Ramirez goes, so go the Dodgers.
Ramirez went very well Saturday, and coincidentally or not, so did the Dodgers.
The shortstop hit two home runs, drove in five runs and scored four times against the Pirates, leading the Dodgers to an easy 12-2 victory before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 49,455.
Ramirez went four for four, scored four runs and then called it a day after launching his second monster home run of the game. The five RBIs and four runs scored matched his career highs. He now has six consecutive hits overall.
The Dodgers happily followed suit, pounding out 14 hits. Adrian Gonzalez had three hits, Matt Kemp and Justin Turner had two each, and Kemp, Turner and Drew Butera each drove in two runs. A regular slugfest.
Hyun-Jin Ryu threw a perfect game through the first seven innings of his last start while clinging to a 1-0 lead, but this time found himself in a very different circumstance. The Dodgers had an 11-0 lead after four innings.
Ryu (6-2) was hardly as sharp as he was Monday against the Reds, though still reasonably effective. He went six innings, giving up two runs on 10 hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out four.
The Dodgers gave him a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Ramirez and Kemp singled in runs, but the Dodgers put it away against Pirates right-hander Brandon Cumpton with four runs in the third inning and five more with two outs in the fourth.
Andre Ethier was safe on a two-base error by left-fielder Starling Marte, who caught the ball on the warning track but dropped it when his glove hit the wall, to start the third inning. After Puig was safe on an infield hit that extended his streak of safely reaching base to 32 consecutive games, Ramirez singled in his second run.
Mattingly had just said Friday night the Dodgers' mediocre play might be tied to the inconsistent play of Ramirez, who was their most dynamic hitter last season.
A Gonzalez double, Kemp sacrifice fly and Turner single all drove in runs to complete the rally.
The Dodgers went right back to their high-octane attack in the fourth inning. This time Ramirez started it with a two-run homer to start the scoring. He added his second home run, a solo shot, in the sixth.
And it was rare romp, the victory snapping the Dodgers' three-game losing streak.