Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Sports NewsMayfield's Mutterings: A season of potential

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[August 12, 2009]  SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Manny Ramirez shrugged off his big night and quickly turned his attention elsewhere: Tim Lincecum.

InsuranceThe Dodgers slugger plopped down in a chair to watch film of the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, who pitches Wednesday for the San Francisco Giants. Manny has Los Angeles back on track and looking for a sweep of the archrivals -- and the Dodgers will have to find a way to deal with Lincecum to do so.

Ramirez hit a towering two-run homer and also doubled in a run after two earlier intentional walks and the Dodgers routed the Giants 9-1 on Tuesday night.

The walks, the boos -- Ramirez is unfazed.

"I don't have control over that. I'm going to play my game," he said.

And he's certainly doing his part to give Los Angeles some separation in the division race, that after the club lost three straight to Atlanta over the weekend.


"When you play 162 games, things like this are going to happen. We're fine," Ramirez said. "We've still got two months to go, so it doesn't matter if we come here and win three or lose two. We've still got to push it 'til the end."

Andre Ethier doubled twice and drove in two runs for the NL West-leading Dodgers, who increased their division lead over the Giants to 7 1/2 games and hold a 7-4 edge in the season series after winning the first two games of this three-game set.

Matt Kemp added a three-run homer three batters after Ramirez connected in the seventh and many fans in the sellout crowd of 41,167 quickly started heading for the exits.

When Manny's doing his thing, everybody prospers.

"It takes pressure off the other guys who are trying to pick up the slack," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "I saw patience. Obviously the first two times up he didn't need much patience. He has good plate coverage. He had two strikes against him when he hit the home run."

Ramirez's seventh homer since returning from a 50-game suspension and 13th overall helped Randy Wolf (6-6) win for the first time in four starts.

"He's been swinging the bat well the past three or four days. He's starting to feel it and come around," Kemp said of Ramirez.

Phillies 4, Cubs 3, 12 innings

At Chicago, Ben Francisco led off the 12th inning with a home run off closer Kevin Gregg and Philadelphia won despite getting only three hits.

Jimmy Rollins homered for the Phillies, who won for just the fourth time in 12 games and remained 3 1/2 games ahead of Florida in the NL East. The Cubs have lost five of six.

Brad Lidge lost the lead in the bottom of the ninth, his seventh blown save in 28 tries after going 41 for 41 last season.

Marlins 9, Astros 8, 11 innings


At Miami, Dan Uggla hit a game-ending RBI single with the bases loaded in the 11th inning, and Florida won its fifth straight.

Brian Sanches (3-1) pitched the 10th to get the win.

The Marlins had come back from a five-run deficit to take the lead before Geoff Blum's RBI double in the ninth off Leo Nunez tied it.

Padres 13, Brewers 6

At Milwaukee, Adrian Gonzalez had a career-high six hits and San Diego had its best offensive output of the season.

Gonzalez paced the 22-hit attack, becoming the first San Diego player with six hits in a nine-inning game and just the fourth overall.

Clayton Richard (2-0) went six innings and allowed four runs and six hits.

Braden Looper (10-6) went five innings, allowing seven runs -- five earned -- and 11 hits.

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Reds 5, Cardinals 4

At St. Louis, Justin Lehr worked into the seventh inning to win his second straight outing and Alex Gonzalez matched his career high with four hits for Cincinnati.

Laynce Nix had a two-run double in a three-run first, helping end the Cardinals' four-game winning streak. Francisco Cordero allowed a run and two hits in the ninth before getting Matt Holliday on a called third strike with the tying run on second for his 25th save in 26 chances.

Albert Pujols hit his major league-leading 37th homer in the eighth.

Braves 8, Nationals 1

At Atlanta, Tommy Hanson struck out nine in 6 2-3 innings and the Braves snapped Washington's eight-game winning streak.

The Braves have won 16 of 25 games since the All-Star break.

Hanson (7-2) allowed seven hits with no walks and Chipper Jones hit a mammoth homer that reached the second section of seats in right field.

John Lannan (8-9) went 4 2-3 innings, giving up six hits and six runs.

Pirates 7, Rockies 3

At Denver, Ross Ohlendorf pitched solidly into the seventh inning and Andrew McCutchen stole three bases and scored three runs as Pittsburgh ended an eight-game losing streak.

Troy Tulowitzki, who had five hits, seven RBIs and hit for the cycle Monday night, homered in his first at-bat, and Carlos Gonzalez also went deep for the Rockies.

Todd Helton tripled and singled to extend his hitting streak to 16 games.

Diamondbacks 6, Mets 2

At Phoenix, Trent Oeltjen extended his remarkable big league debut with four more hits, falling a homer shy of the cycle, and Alex Romero had two hits and two RBIs for Arizona.

Oeltjen has 12 hits in his first 24 at-bats since his contract was purchased from Triple-A Reno to replace injured Justin Upton on Aug. 6. He has hit safely in all five of his major league games.

Right-hander Max Scherzer (7-6) gave up two runs in 6 2-3 innings for his first victory in three career outings against the Mets.

Livan Hernandez (7-7) took the loss for New York, which has dropped 10 of 13.

[Associated Press; By JANIE McCAULEY]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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