Dodgers catch at least one break in 2-1 loss to Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — In the aftermath of his team's second defeat in as many days, Hanley Ramirez was smiling. His left hand wasn't broken.

Ramirez was hit with a 90-mph fastball Wednesday, forcing him to depart early from the Dodgers' 2-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants at AT&T; Park.

X-rays on Ramirez's hand were negative.

"You guys know me," Ramirez said. "If it feels good, I'll be in there tomorrow."

Ramirez was struck on a full-count pitch by Ryan Vogelsong in the seventh inning that prompted him to remove his helmet with his right hand and slam it on the ground.

"I was praying right away," Ramirez said.

Shaking his left hand, Ramirez paced around the area behind home plate. He continued to walk around even as trainer Stan Conte tried to talk to him.

Ramirez appeared as if he wanted to stay in the game. Conte wouldn't let him.

"At that point, he's mad," Manager Don Mattingly said. "He's going to try to stay in and steal a base or something. We just can't do that."

Together, Ramirez and Conte disappeared into the Dodgers' clubhouse.

Vogelsong said he was simply trying to pitch Ramirez inside.

"Obviously, I'm not trying to hit him in that situation," he said. "Put the winning run on base in the seventh inning, to lead off the inning? Obviously, that's not what I'm trying to do."

Vogelsong, who suffered a broken hand during an at-bat last season, said he heard no chirping from the Dodgers' bench. He bristled at a question about why the Dodgers might be sensitive to a pitcher hitting Ramirez, given how their offense vanished in the National League Championship Series last year after St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Joe Kelly hit Ramirez and fractured a rib.

"Obviously, I wasn't trying to hit him," Vogelsong said. "I don't understand what you're trying to make of it. It stinks to get hit. I broke my hand last year too."

Ramirez was starting to find his rhythm at the plate over the last week.

He hit his first two home runs of the season on April 6. In the seven games leading into Wednesday, he hit .379 with five doubles, five runs batted in and nine runs scored.

If Ramirez returns later than expected, the episode could have far-reaching consequences for both him and the Dodgers.

Ramirez is in the final year of his contract and will be eligible for free agency at the end of the season.

He said he wants to re-sign with the Dodgers. The Dodgers have said they want to re-sign him.

But, evidently, the two sides can't agree on a price. The most likely reason is because of Ramirez's inability to remain healthy.

He played in 92 games in 2011. He played in 86 last year.

Ramirez was on the disabled list twice last season, first with a broken thumb and later with a strained hamstring.

Both injuries occurred at AT&T; Park. The thumb injury was sustained in the championship game of the World Baseball Classic. He strained his hamstring against the Giants on May 3.

The consequences for the Dodgers were severe.

His absence was believed to be one of the reasons the Dodgers were in last place through June. His return, coupled with the arrival of Yasiel Puig, was widely viewed as the reason the team turned around its season and won the division title.

The season was a resounding success for Ramirez. He finished with a .345 average. Whatever problems resulting from a major shoulder operation in 2011 were clearly behind him.

Perhaps more important, Ramirez rehabilitated his image, which was that of an underachieving prima donna when he played for the Miami Marlins.

"He is as tough a ballplayer as I've ever been around," catcher A.J. Ellis said.

Twitter: @dylanohernandez

Times staff writer Bill Shaikin contributed to this report.

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