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Ramirez homers twice to lift Dodgers


Ramirez homers twice to lift Dodgers
PHOENIX (AP) - Manny Ramirez is trying to get the Los Angeles Dodgers into the playoffs, and looking forward to his future at the same time.

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Ramirez homered twice and the Dodgers ended an eight-game losing streak with a 6-2 victory over Dan Haren and the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.

"I play the game, go have fun," said Ramirez, who could become a free agent after this season. "I'm on vacation. I don't got nothing to lose. I got one more month left, you know, go to the house, relax and see what my situation is going to be."

Ramirez, who is 18-of-33 (.545) in his career against Arizona, went deep in the third for the Dodgers' first run off Haren (14-7) and hit the right-field foul pole in the seventh for his ninth homer with Los Angeles. He reached base in nine straight plate appearances before grounding out in the ninth.

"As far as how we pitch him, we're missing our location on him is what we're doing right now," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. "We're just not making good pitches."

The Dodgers, who dropped the first eight of their 10-game road trip, moved with 3 1/2 games of the NL West-leading Diamondbacks, losers of six of eight.

After being intentionally walked in the first inning Friday, Ramirez got eight consecutive hits, including his 500th career double Saturday.

"He's pretty remarkable," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "But again, I've watched this for a number of years, he's one of the best right-hand hitters that has played the game in my lifetime. He doesn't give an at-bat away."

Ramirez went 4-for-5, scored three runs and drove in two, but downplayed his performance.

"For us, every day is a big game," Ramirez said. "The other side is the best team in the National League, we play everybody hard."

Chad Billingsley (13-10) allowed two runs and nine hits in seven innings for Los Angeles, getting his first win since Aug. 15.

"I struggled a little bit in first inning and didn't get into a good rhythm," Billingsley said. "I kind of found it and started pounding the zone with all my pitches."

Ramirez doubled and scored on Matt Kemp's 16th homer to put the Dodgers ahead 5-1 in the fifth. Ramirez, who is hitting .419 since being acquired from Boston on July 31, has six doubles and seven RBIs in his career against the Diamondbacks.

"All I'm doing now is extra," Ramirez said. "I've already did what I am going to do in my career."

Kemp and Casey Blake each had two hits off Haren, who has given up at least seven hits in each of his last seven outings, although he has won five of those.

"Even though I'm not walking guys, my command just isn't there," Haren said. "I'm throwing plenty of strikes but the strikes just aren't as quality as they've been in the past."

Chris Young went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs for Arizona, which finished with 10 hits.

Hong-Chih Kuo struck out five in two scoreless innings for Los Angeles.

After Arizona's Brandon Webb and Derek Lowe meet on Sunday, the two teams have three more games in California next weekend, the last time they will see each other in the regular season.

Notes

The Dodgers haven't lost nine in a row since dropping 10 straight from June 10-21, 1992. ... The Diamondbacks optioned RHP Billy Buckner to Triple-A Tucson to make room for LHP Wil Ledezma, whom Arizona picked up off waivers from San Diego on Friday.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: August 31, 2008

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