10:05 PM ET, March 24, 2009
Camelback Ranch, Glendale, AZ
PHOENIX -- Hitting his first home run of the spring wasn't a big deal for Manny Ramirez. Running pain-free on a cool evening in the desert was much more important.In his second game back as a designated hitter after missing a week with tightness in his left hamstring, Ramirez homered in the first inning off Seattle starter Ryan Rowland-Smith. It was one of three homers the Dodgers hit while building a 6-2 lead.Ramirez was hit on the foot by a pitch from Rowland-Smith in the third inning before golfing a fly out to left center in the fifth."Anybody can go deep in March," Ramirez said, parroting a zinger offered by teammate Casey Blake when he reached the clubhouse. "I was happier when I hit the fly ball. I was able to push my leg a little more. So we're going to go and test it tomorrow in the outfield. Big day tomorrow."Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton, just back from a stint with Team USA the World Baseball Classic, couldn't hold a two-run lead in the ninth, allowing four runs, four hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning. Endy Chavez capped a 4-for-5 night with a go-ahead two-run double and the Mariners split-squad beat Los Angeles 8-6 Tuesday night.Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Ramirez is on track to return to the outfield Wednesday against the Brewers in Maryvale."He wants to try it and we're not going to know anything until we do it," Torre said. "If he goes out there, he can't worry about people saying 'Hey, he loafed after the ball!' and stuff. We're going to encourage him to measure what he does. Let the ball go to the wall if you have to."But Ramirez said he has no intention of taking it easy."I'm cutting that [stuff] off," he said, smiling. "You just react when you're out there. It's hard to pace yourself."Blake also went deep, hitting a long home run off hard-throwing Seattle pitcher Brandon Morrow, who has been battling forearm stiffness in his elbow and threw for the first time since March 1. Catcher Brad Ausmus also hit his first homer of the spring.Rowland-Smith, a native of Australia, said he enjoyed facing Ramirez and wanted to go right at him."When I got back in the dugout, I was thinking maybe I should have pitched around him," he said. "But it's fun to pitch to guys like that and challenge a guy who can hit the ball out park. When he hit it, I was thinking 'Come on wind, blow it foul,' but there was no wind today. I tried to get a fastball in, but it wasn't in and he hit it good."Dodger starter Clayton Kershaw allowed a bunt single to Chavez to start the game and then retired 13 of the next 14 hitters. He left with one out in the sixth after an RBI single to Chavez, and was charged with a second run when Chavez scored Jose Lopez's single.
|Stadium||Camelback Ranch, Glendale, AZ|
|Umpires||, Second Base - Chris Tiller, Third Base - Ted Barrett|