Manny Ramirez sparks Dodgers to victory
Manny Ramirez was shouting.
Of course, he’s always shouting.
Only this time, the words that came out of his megaphone of a mouth didn’t sound empty.
“I don’t want to talk about that,” he said of the home run he hit Monday in the Dodgers’ 7-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. “I do that all the time.”
For the first time in a while, he could make that kind of declaration without anyone rolling his or her eyes or snickering behind his back.
The home run -- a solo shot in the second inning against Max Scherzer that got the Dodgers on the board -- was his fourth in his last nine games.
He laughed and he smiled. He autographed a baseball and asked for it to be delivered to Times columnist T.J. Simers.
“This is the ball that the umpire threw me out of the game with,” he scribbled on the ball.
The inscription was a reference to how he was ejected from the game in the third inning by plate umpire Doug Eddings for tossing his bat and helmet after a strikeout.
“I didn’t do [anything],” Ramirez said.
Ramirez said upon taking a called first strike, he told Eddings that the pitch was a ball.
“It’s OK,” Ramirez said. “He’s human. He’s not a machine. He makes mistakes.”
The ejection was the second of the season for Ramirez, who was thrown out of a game at Citi Field in New York on July 7 for throwing his elbow pad high over his head in protest of a called third strike.
With his team holding on to a 3 1/2 -game lead over the second-place Colorado Rockies in the National League West, Manager Joe Torre wasn’t amused by how his star outfielder was banished to the clubhouse Monday.
“I think it was too quick a trigger,” Torre said. “Throwing equipment, that’s a separate situation. You can fine somebody for throwing equipment.
“I asked [Eddings] if he cursed him and he said, ‘No.’ I just wished more umpires -- and he’s a good umpire -- when they see an impending problem, would just turn around and walk away. This game is a passionate game. It’s something that has to be taken into consideration. I don’t think they take it into consideration enough. I’m not saying the umpires should take abuse, but I think they should do what they can to keep from doing what he did today.”
Perhaps more so because the player in question was Ramirez.
Torre has made no secret of his belief that if Ramirez starts to hit, the Dodgers will start scoring runs.
That was what happened in this game.
Ramirez’s home run was immediately followed by one from James Loney. The Dodgers went up 3-0 that inning when Russell Martin singled in Ronnie Belliard.
The last time the Dodgers had scored more than two runs in an inning was in Cincinnati on Aug. 29.
“That started off the game,” Loney said of Ramirez’s home run.
That was enough to earn Vicente Padilla his second win as a Dodger, as he limited the Diamondbacks to a fifth-inning, two-run home run by Chris Young and nothing more over six solid innings.
Jonathan Broxton earned his 33rd save by recording the final four outs.
Scherzer, who held the Dodgers to a run over 7 2/3 innings last week, lasted seven innings but was charged with four runs and six hits. The fourth run came on a home run in the fourth inning by Belliard, who was three for four with a double, two runs batted in and two runs scored.
“This is the guy you should be talking to,” Ramirez said, putting his arm around Belliard. “Not me.”