Major League Baseball: Padres 7, Dodgers 4: Manny homers in loss
SAN DIEGO ó Manny Ramirez needed only five plate appearances before hitting his first post-drug suspension home run.
It wasn’t enough to help Los Angeles overcome 22-year-old rookie Everth Cabrera’s three RBIs and brilliant defense as the San Diego Padres beat the Dodgers 7-4 on Saturday.
Ramirez homered in his second game back from his 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy. It was his seventh homer of the season and 534th of his career, tying Jimmie Foxx for 16th on the all-time list. Up next is Mickey Mantle with 536.
Ramirez dodged reporters afterward, leaving the clubhouse through a side door.
“I think this is his comfort zone, in that batter’s box, in the ballpark, in the clubhouse, something that he hasn’t had for a couple of months,” manager Joe Torre said. “I think it’s going to take a little time, but I think it’s just him getting the rust off and getting used to what he’s doing.”
With two outs in the first, Geer got ahead of Ramirez 0-2 before throwing an outside pitch for ball one. The right-hander then served up a 79-mph changeup that Ramirez drove an estimated 369 feet into the seats in left field for a 1-0 lead.
“I think this is the best medicine for him after having to go through what he went through,” Torre said. “Again, it’s not that you’re feeling sorry for him because he obviously was suspended for a reason and we’re past that.”
Ramirez left after six innings for the second straight game. He’s 1-for-6 with a walk in two games back.
“I just hung one there with Manny in the first inning,” Geer said, “and of course most good hitters will take advantage of it.”
Cabrera had nine assists at shortstop, including two on grounders by Ramirez that led to bang-bang plays.
“I feel very happy,” Cabrera said.
He seemed happiest that it was against the team with the best record in baseball.
“I get very motivated in those kinds of games and I like the pressure and feed off it.”