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Dodgers win final Manny-less game on Furcal's pinch-hit single

CBSSports.com wire reports
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LOS ANGELES -- Manny Ramirez's suspension didn't slow down the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers played their 50th and final game without Ramirez, beating the Colorado Rockies 1-0 on Wednesday on pinch-hitter Rafael Furcal's RBI single in the eighth inning. During Ramirez's absence, the Dodgers went 29-21.

Ramirez was suspended for violating baseball's drug policy on May 7. He is eligible to return for Friday night's game at San Diego.

"It's not until you lose somebody like Manny that you realize that there's no safety net out there," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "I continue to talk about how fortunate we've been with the number of close games we've won."

The Dodgers' sputtering offense has scored eight runs during the past five games.

"This ballclub feels pretty good about themselves," Torre said. "I mean, they're at a frustrated stage right now because we haven't scored runs and they're fighting it a little bit. But they've played hard. As a team, we've pretty much gotten a lot out of what we have.

Center fielder Matt Kemp is excited for Ramirez's return: "We get a great hitter back, somebody that can help us drive in some runs and get some things going."

Torre doesn't expect Ramirez to make an immediate impact after just five minor league rehab games.

"It's still going to take him some time to settle in, but I think it'll help everybody else, too," Torre said. "I'm going to get the same player back. I mean, I think his ability goes far beyond what caused the suspension. But it's going to take some time for him to get in game shape and for him to get comfortable."

Juan Pierre, who has started every game in left field during Manny's absence, will return to being a part-time player despite hitting .318 with 21 RBI, 31 runs scored, 15 walks and 21 stolen bases.

"Juan came in and did an excellent job. He's an All-Star in my book," Kemp said. "If it wasn't for what he's done for our team, we wouldn't be in this position right now."

The defending NL West champions got off to a 21-8 start and had were on a seven-game winning streak with a 6½-game lead in the division when Ramirez was suspended.

The Dodgers lost four of their next five, then went on a 12-3 run and increased their division lead to a season-best 9½ games with a 1-0 victory against Arizona on June 3. They've leveled off since then, going 13-11, but still entered Wednesday with a six-game lead on San Francisco.

"I'm not surprised by what they've done in his absence -- not with the addition of Orlando Hudson and what he's meant to their infield defense, the professional they have at third base in Casey Blake and the of year that Andre Ethier is having," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "They're a very talented team with a tremendous amount of athleticism, but the biggest thing has been the improvement of their bullpen."

Ramon Troncoso (2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the win and Jonathan Broxton pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 19th save for the Dodgers, who have a major league-leading 17 victories by a one-run margin.

Brad Ausmus led off the eighth inning with a single against Rockies starter Jason Hammel (5-4) and advanced on Juan Castro's sacrifice. Russell Martin ran for Ausmus and scored when Furcal stroked a single to right field on the right-hander's 100th pitch while batting for Troncoso.

Hammel pitched a career-high eight innings for his first complete game. It came in his 41st big league start. He allowed five hits and struck out five.

"One run can do it. That's baseball. I made a good pitch," said Hammel, who was 5-0 over his previous seven starts.

Clayton Kershaw allowed one hit over five innings and threw 97 pitches. Kershaw struck out five and issued a season-high five walks.

Brad Hawpe's two-out double in the first inning was Colorado's only hit until Ian Stewart doubled with two outs in the seventh against Ronald Belisario.

Notes

  • San Diego's starting pitchers this weekend against the Dodgers will be Chad Gaudin, Josh Geer and Josh Banks. Ramirez is 5 for 11 with a home run against Gaudin, and 2 for 3 with a home run against Geer. He has never faced Banks in the regular season.
  • Dodgers pitchers struck out 39 Colorado batters during the three games.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Russell Martin, who crosses home plate in the eighth inning, represents the only run in the game.  (AP)
Russell Martin, who crosses home plate in the eighth inning, represents the only run in the game. (AP)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

R. Furcal
AB 1
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
Colorado

B. Hawpe
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Colorado Rockies
Dexter Fowler, CF3000121 .250
Clint Barmes, 2B4000002 .278
Brad Hawpe, RF4020012 .333
Garrett Atkins, 1B3000112 .224
Troy Tulowitzki, SS4000021 .249
Ryan Spilborghs, LF3000130 .261
Ian Stewart, 3B4010010 .215
Paul Phillips, C2000100 .310
Jason Hammel, P1000202 .045
Totals28030610  
Batting
2B - Brad Hawpe (25, Kershaw), Ian Stewart (10, Belisario)
CS - Ryan Spilborghs (4, 2nd base by Kershaw/Ausmus)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Barmes-Tulowitzki-Atkins
E - Troy Tulowitzki (4, Misplayed grounder)
Colorado Rockies
Jason Hammel (L,5-4) 8511050 3.90
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Hammel 102-72
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Hammel 7-11
Batters Faced - Jason Hammel 28
Los Angeles Dodgers
Juan Pierre, LF4010001 .322
Matt Kemp, CF3000002 .302
Orlando Hudson, 2B3000012 .294
Andre Ethier, RF3000021 .257
Mark Loretta, 3B3000000 .250
    Jonathan Broxton, P0000000 .000
James Loney, 1B3010000 .279
Brad Ausmus, C3020000 .283
    Russell Martin, PR-C0100000 .246
Juan Castro, SS-3B2000012 .333
Clayton Kershaw, P1000000 .174
   a- Casey Blake, PH1000012 .286
    Ronald Belisario, P0000000 .000
    Ramon Troncoso, P0000000 .000
   b- Rafael Furcal, PH-SS1011000 .240
Totals2715105  
a-struck out for Kershaw in the 5th
b-singled for Troncoso in the 8th
Batting
2B - James Loney (16, Hammel)
SH - Juan Castro (1)
RBI - Rafael Furcal (17)
SB - Juan Pierre (22, 2nd base off Hammel/Phillips)
CS - Juan Pierre (7, 2nd base by Hammel/Phillips)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Loney-Castro-Kershaw
Los Angeles Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw 5100550 3.49
Ronald Belisario 2100130 1.89
Ramon Troncoso (W,2-0) 1100000 1.94
Jonathan Broxton (S,19) 1000020 2.15
IBB - Phillips by Ronald Belisario
Pitches-Strikes - Clayton Kershaw 97-52, Ronald Belisario 33-20, Ramon Troncoso 11-7, Jonathan Broxton 9-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clayton Kershaw 3-5, Ronald Belisario 1-2, Ramon Troncoso 2-1
Batters Faced - Clayton Kershaw 19, Ronald Belisario 8, Ramon Troncoso 4, Jonathan Broxton 3
Game Information
Attendance - 40455
Game Time - 2:28
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Gary Darling, First Base - Bill Hohn, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Paul Emmel