All of Dodger Stadium Turns into Mannywood

Manny Ramirez, with one swing of his bat, transformed the whole of Dodger Stadium into Mannywood, ripping a two-strike fastball into the left field seats with Blake DeWitt on base in the eighth inning to turn a 1-0 San Francisco win into a stunning 2-1 Los Angeles win in the third and final game of the series and the last game of the current homestand.

Young Clayton Kershaw matched pitch-for-pitch with the $126-dollar man Barry Zito into the seventh inning before Juan Uribe banged a high fast ball into he left field seats to break open a 0-0 game and give the Giants a seemingly huge 1-0 lead.

The mismatched pair, similar only in the fact that they both pitch left-handed, rolled through six scoreless innings neck-in-neck.

Zito, with 132 Major League wins, retired nine L.A. batters on balls hit into the air while scattered four singles and no runners past first base.

Kershaw, with 13 Major League wins, also allowed three hits until Uribe's blast with one out in the seventh. He struck out nine and walked four. The only mild threat came in the fourth when Aubrey Huff doubled to lead off the inning, but a fly to right and a pair of strikeouts erased that. He has limited opposing hitters to a .197 average (12-for-61) on the season.

Zito didn't walk a man until he passed pinch-hitter Garret Anderson with one out in the eighth on his 102nd pitch. That was enough for Giants' manager Bruce Botchy and he called for right-hander Sergio Ramo to face Ramirez who was waiting on deck.

Manny looked at a pair of strikes and a ball before swinging for the first time and, and like the Ernest Thayer poem, Casey at the Bat, "... And now the air is shattered by the force of (Manny's) blow."

It was Ramirez second home run of the season and the 548th of his remarkable career, tying him with Philadelphia Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt for 14th on the all-time list. Ramirez's previous pinch hit home run was a grand slam on July 22, 2009 and was also a game-winner.

He was as happy as the 50,433 fans when the ball landed in the left-field seats. He broke into a wide grin and waived his arms in the air.

The crowd demanded a curtain-call -- and got it.

The ninth inning was anti-climatic with Jonathan Broxton wrapped up the game neatly with only eight pitches.

Both pitchers worked with men on base, but there was no real threat that a run would score until the two home runs in the eighth.

Kershaw did not resemble the wild, frustrated pitcher that staggered to a win over Arizona who allowed three hits and walked five before leaving with one out in the sixth.

This time he gave up a single in the first and second and a double in the fourth, then retired 10 in a row until Uribe spoiled the streak and seemingly gave the Giants a win in the rubber game of the series.

Trailing 1-0 in the last of the eighth, manager Joe Torre gave the left-handed a chance to collect a win by sending him back to the mound in the seventh, but an obviously tiring Kershaw walked Eugenio Perez and the call went out to Jeff Weaver.

Weaver, who came to camp as a non-roster hopeful, has been extremely valuable over the first dozen games of the season and he took the mound for the eighth time.

A bunt moved Perez to second, with first baseman Ron Belliard making a difficult throw and second baseman Jamey Carroll making an equally difficult catch while (barely) keeping his foot on the base.

Weaver intentionally walked Pablo Sandoval and Torre called for George Sherrill. Sherrill, who has struggled with his command since spring training, made left-handed Huff pop to second, then Ramon Troncoso, the fourth pitcher of the evening came into the game.

He hit Bengie Molina with a pitch to load the bases and watched as Uribe took his place in the batter's box, fresh from his big home run. Uribe was 5-for-9 with runners in scoring position but Troncoso retired him on a ground ball to third.

In the bottom of the eighth, Reed Johnson flew to the warning track in left field before Garret Anderson pinch-hit for second baseman Jamey Carroll and worked Zito for his first walk of the game.

Then Manny did his magic trick to earn his first save of the season and the crowd went home happy. He has worked 5.2 scoreless innings and allowed just two base runners (one hit, one walk) and has struck out nine.

Summing up, Vince Scully, the master of understatement, simply said, "This has been a big-league game."

Scully Celebrates Anniversary
Scully has been the one constant in the longtime rivalry between the Dodgers and Giants and the game marked the 60th anniversary of his first day in the Dodgers' broadcast booth with Red Barber and Connie Desmond.

"I feel only overwhelming gratitude," Scully told the Associated Press. "You feel blessed that you've lived that long, that you've been allowed to do what you love to do for that long, and that my health has held up all those years. It's humbling to think that you've been that fortunate and that God has blessed you with that time. That first team, the so-called 'Boys of Summer,' that was my graduating class. I mean, look at the team then. I had Don Newcombe, Gil Hodges, Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Billy Cox, Roy Campanella, Duke Snider, Carl Furillo and Carl Erskine. That was such an amazing collection of players, so I guess that was the team that made the most impression on me."

Also on this day in 1958, the Dodgers played their first-ever game in Los Angeles before a crowd of 78,672 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Dodgers beat the Giants, 6-5. Carl Erskine was the winning pitcher and Clem Labine earned a save.

Dodger Blue Notes --Los Angeles will not play San Francisco again until June 28, a span of 70 days. However, the two clubs will meet for five games in July and six in September. Last year the Dodgers were 11-7 against the Giants, including 6-3 at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles has not had a losing record in a season series with San Francisco since going 9-10 in 2005. ...With a single in the fourth inning, Matt Kemp extended his hit streak to eight games, batting .353 (12-for-34) with a double, five home runs and 10 RBI in that span. ...After the marathon in Phoenix, the Dodgers played their shortest game of the season in 2 hours and 36 minutes. Their last shortest game had been played in 2 hours and 52 minutes on April 11 at Florida. ...The Dodgers split the six-game homestand and will fly to Cincinnati to begin a three-game set with the Reds on Tuesday. From there, it's on to Washington, D.C. and New York, where the forecast is calling for rain in both cities.      

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