Ramirez's homers, both solo shots, were the first of 2009 and he boosted his average to .308. Ethier slugged home runs #3 and #4, knocking in four runs. Nine different Dodgers collected one hit each, including Matt Kemp, who ran his hitting streak to 12 straight games and reliever Will Oman, who not only singled in the eighth, he knocked in a run with the hit.
After being held homerless for his first 36 at-bats of the season, Ramirez hit career home run No. 528 over the left-field fence on a 3-2 slider from right-hander Aaron Cook. It marked Ramirez's first career home run against the Rockies, and he now has homered against all 30 active teams.
Ramirez became the 11th active player to have homered against all 30 clubs, joining Adrian Beltré, Russell Branyan, Mike Cameron, Tony Clark, Brian Giles, Troy Glaus, Jose Guillen, Gary Sheffield, Alfonso Soriano and Dmitri Young according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Ramirez didn't wait long to hit his second home run in his second at-bat in the third inning to tie Honus Wagner for 19th all-time in RBIs with 1,732. It was his 54th multi-home run game to tie him with Frank Robinson for ninth on the all-time Major League list.
Matt Kemp joined St. Louis' Chris Duncan as the only players to open the campaign with an 12-game run. Kemp is batting .357 (15-for-42) with a team-best four doubles during the tear. James Loney last year began the season with a career-best 15-game hitting streak. That was the third-longest in Los Angeles Dodgers history behind Steve Garvey's 21-game streak to open the 1978 season and Ron Cey's 17-game tear in 1977.
The Dodgers are hitting .333 (46-for-138) through their first four home games of 2009. Los Angeles has scored 27 runs in those contests for an average of 6.8 per game. During the season-opening seven-game road trip, in which they went 4-3, the Dodgers batted .245 (57-for-233), while scoring 32 runs for an average of 4.6 per game.
The Dodgers are 30-9 (.769) at Dodger Stadium since the All-Star break last year, the best home record in the Majors in that span.
Ramirez's two shots gave the Dodgers an early lead and Ethier's first dinger of the game drove in Brad Ausmus, who had singled, and Orlando Hudson, who had walked in the fourth.
Billingsley took a one-hit shutout into the top of the sixth but a walk, two singles and a two-run triple by Brad Hawpe cut the L.A. margin to 6-3.
The Dodgers seemingly put the game away with four in the last of the eighth. Ethier slammed a shot into the right field pavilion to open the inning. Ramirez walked and Loney lived when the Rockies messed up a potential force play at second. Kemp's single drove in the second run of the inning and Juan Castro's sac fly and Ohman's surprise single to right ran the lead to 9-3.
Mota took over in the top of the seventh and gave up a single, a stolen base and a walk. Ohman came in and popped up Seth Smith attempting to bunt and Todd Helton lined into a double play started by DeWitt ad third.
Ohman continued in the eighth and after retiring the first two he faced, he served up a home run to Ian Stewart. Ramon Troncoso was called in and he got the third out but then allowed a walk and a single in the ninth to open the inning.
Enter Belisario, the fourth Dodger relief pitcher of the game. He struck out the first pinch-hitter Omar Quintanilla, walked Smith to load the bases loaded, then allowed a sac fly to Helton, cutting the Dodgers lead to 9-5. With the potential tying run at the plate, he struck Garrett Atkins to nail down the win.
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (1-1, 2.53) vs. RHP James McDonald (0-1, 19.29) get the starting call today. Los Angeles will take Monday off and then embark on a nine-game road trip to Houston, Colorado, and San Francisco. The Dodgers swept the Giants in a three-game series to start the homestand and then earned a 4-3 come-from-behind victory last night in the series opener against the Rockies.
Score by innings Colorado 000 003 011-5 Los Angeles 131 300 40x-9 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Hudson 2b 4 1 1 0 .354 Ethier rf 5 2 2 4 .279 Ramirez lf 3 3 2 2 .308 Pierre ph-lf 1 0 0 0 .375 Loney 1b 5 1 1 0 .295 Kemp 1b 3 1 1 1 .357 DeWitt 3b 4 0 1 0 .200 Ausmus c 3 1 1 0 .429 Billingsley p 1 0 0 0 .333 Loretta 1 0 1 0 .558 Mota p 0 0 0 0 .000 Ohman p 1 0 1 1 1.000 Troncoso p 0 0 0 0 .000 ------------------------------- Totals 34 9 12 9 Colorado 31 5 7 5 Error- RamireZ (1). Home runs- Ramirez 2 (2), Ethier 2 (4). RBI- Ramirez 2 (7). Ethier 4 (13), Kemp (9), Castro (1), Ohman (1). S- Billingsley. SF- Castro. LOB- Los Angeles 7, Colorado 8. SB- Kemp (4). DP- DeWitt and Hudson. Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Billingsley 6.0 4 3-3 3 6 2.84 Mota 0.0 1 0-0 1 0 3.18 Ohman 1.2 1 1-1 0 1 3.18 Troncoso 0.1 1 1-1 1 0 4.50 Belisario 0.2 0 0-0 1 2 1.04 T-3:24. Att- 36,765.This Date in Dodgers History
April 17, 1904 - Brooklyn beats Boston 9-1 in a Sunday game at Washington Park. Baseball was illegal on Sunday but they didn't charge admission, rather they required fans to purchase a scorecard that was color coded to indicate field box or grandstand seats. City official nipped that in the bud and it didn't happen again. April 17, 1942 - With World War II and the draft hovering over the nation, shortstop Pee Wee Reese and center fielder Pete Reiser skipped out and both of them got married. When they returned, an Ebbets Field fan with a trumpet serenaded them with "Here Comes the Bride" on their first at bats. The Dodgers won their home opener 7-1 over the Phillies.
April 17, 1956 - A huge parade along Flatbush Avenue all the way to Ebbets Field celebrated the 1955 World Championship. Johnny Podres, hero of the series, was on hand an in uniform, his Navy uniform that is.
April 17, 1965 - Don Drysdale became the second Dodger to fan four men in the second inning but he also allows two home runs to lose a 3-2 decision to Philadelphia.