Ramirez's Magic Continues to Amaze

In a stadium that witnessed the famous Kirk Gibson hobbled home run in the World Series, Manny Ramirez has twice tapped into similar magic. Ramirez has never been on the World Series stage with the Dodgers, but after his go-ahead home run in Sunday's victory over the San Francisco Giants some slight similarities exist.

Last season, after he didn't start in a game against the Reds because he was hit on the wrist by a pitch the night before, he came off the bench and put the Dodgers ahead with a pinch-hit grand slam. That bit of wounded drama came on his own bobblehead night, no less.

On Sunday against the Giants, Barry Zito had been cruising along with 7 1/3 scoreless innings before Ramirez came to the plate with a runner aboard. Ramirez did not start the past two games because of a sore calf.

Facing reliever Sergio Romo, who had 11 1/3 scoreless innings against the Dodgers in his career, Ramirez lifted a slider into the seats in left field. The Dodgers won 2-1.

"That's what separates the inexperienced from the experienced, to go up there with an idea of what pitch you will probably hit off this guy," manager Joe Torre said. "He throws a lot of sliders so that wasn't a mystery, but it was the presence to sit on it and wait long enough."

NOTES, QUOTES
--LHP Hong-Chih Kuo needed just six pitches to get through his second one-inning rehab outing at Class A Inland Empire. The Dodgers have not said when Kuo will be activated from the DL, but he is scheduled to be on the charter flight Monday to Cincinnati. He has been on the DL since the start of the season with a sore elbow.

--RHP Russ Ortiz was designated for assignment after he struggled in six outings. Ortiz posted a 10.29 ERA and was taken off the roster following a scoreless inning Saturday. He said he is still pondering whether he will accept an invitation to join Class AAA Albuquerque if he clears waivers.

--RHP Jon Link was called up to the major leagues for the first time to take the place of RHP Russ Ortiz, who was designated for assignment. Link, who was struggling at Class AAA Albuquerque, was on hand for Sunday's game. Link was acquired by the Dodgers in December in the deal that sent Juan Pierre to the White Sox.

--RF Andre Ethier hit safely in five of the six games on the Dodgers' just-completed season-opening homestand. He batted .423 (11-for-26), belting three home runs with nine RBI. He also had his first walk-off hit of the season and 10th of his career on Thursday with an RBI single against the Diamondbacks.

--CF Matt Kemp extended his hit streak to a modest eight games and is batting .353 (12-for-34) over that stretch. He has also been hitting for power during that run, giving the Dodgers five home runs and 10 RBI. He did not hit a home run Saturday, snapping a streak of four home runs in four games, the longest run in team history to open the home schedule.

BY THE NUMBERS: 10 -- Number of career walk-off hits for RF Andre Ethier, who had the game-winning single Thursday against the Diamondbacks. Ethier is closing in on Dusty Baker's team record for walk-off hits at 14. Ethier had six of them alone last year, four on home runs.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "His numbers speak from themselves. You don't drive in 1,800 runs without having an idea of what you are doing. He's a smart hitter, he has a plan and he executes it a lot of times." -- OF Garret Anderson, after LF Manny Ramirez delivered a two-run pinch-hit home run Sunday to push the Dodgers to a 2-1 victory over the Giants.

*M*A*S*H* 4077 MEDICAL WATCH --C Brad Ausmus (bulging disk in back) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 9. He had surgery April 15, and he is expected to be out for three months.

--LHP Hong-Chih Kuo (left elbow soreness) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Inland Empire on April 15 and made is second appearance April 18. He is scheduled to fly with the team April 19 to Cincinnati and might return to the roster on April 20.

--RHP Cory Wade (right shoulder surgery in March 2010) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. He is expected to miss at least three months.

    ROTATION:
   RHP Vicente Padilla
   LHP Clayton Kershaw
   RHP Chad Billingsley
   RHP Hiroki Kuroda
   RHP Charlie Haeger

    BULLPEN:
   RHP Jonathan Broxton 
   LHP George Sherrill
   RHP Ramon Troncoso
   RHP Jeff Weaver
   RHP Carlos Monasterios
   RHP Ramon Ortiz
   RHP Jon Link
 
    CATCHERS:
   Russell Martin
   A.J. Ellis

    INFIELDERS:
   1B James Loney
   2B Blake DeWitt
   SS Rafael Furcal
   3B Casey Blake
   INF Jamey Carroll
   INF Ronnie Belliard

    OUTFIELDERS:
   LF Manny Ramirez
   CF Matt Kemp
   RF Andre Ethier
   OF Reed Johnson
   OF Garret Anderson

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