|L.A. Dodgers (51-29) «||5||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||6||9||0|
|San Diego (34-45)||0||0||0||1||0||2||0||0||0||3||4||2|
SAN DIEGO -- Manny Ramirez is back in the big leagues, looking like a guy who missed 50 games.
He did provide a lot of energy to the team with baseball's best record.
"It was great," Ramirez said. "I was kind of nervous at first, but once I stepped to the plate I was fine."
With more than half the crowd at sold-out Petco Park wearing Dodger blue and cheering him on, Ramirez went 0 for 3 with a walk. The farthest he hit the ball was a popup that second baseman David Eckstein caught in shallow center field.
He showed a good eye during his first at-bat, fouling off three pitches before walking. Right-hander Chad Gaudin brushed back Ramirez with the first pitch. Ramirez just smiled.
It was a loud at-bat, with Dodgers fans standing and cheering, and Padres fans trying to drown them out with boos.
Ramirez expects to be in the lineup for Saturday afternoon's game.
"I need a couple more games under my belt. It's going to take time," he said.
"I thought the first-inning walk was amazing, considering the 2-2 count and he worked the walk," manager Joe Torre said. "I'd be a little jumpy if I were him. There's no question he's rusty. The only way you can play this game is practice it, and he really hasn't had a lot of practice."
Ramirez popped up to end the sixth, jogged to the dugout to get his glove and cap, then headed for the clubhouse, his night finished.
Ramirez was cheered when he caught Chase Headley's flyball to end the second inning. He took off his cap as he approached the dugout and gave a security guard a playful tap on the head with it.
The fan reaction "was great, man. It was the best. I want to thank all my fans," Ramirez said. "I think they drove from L.A. just to watch the game and to watch me. It was unbelievable."
Torre said he sensed the Dodgers were excited to have Ramirez back.
"It just feels like the atmosphere had little bubbles in it today, for me," Torre said. "So hopefully we can hold on to that for a while."
There didn't appear to be any problems with the crowd. Some fans brought signs, including one in the left-field stands that read "RAMROID," and some fans wore yellow T-shirts that crudely mocked the slugger.
Ramirez's ban was based on evidence he used human chorionic gonadotropin, a fertility drug that's banned by baseball, a person familiar with the suspension told the Associated Press after the suspension was announced on May 7, speaking on condition of anonymity because those details were not released.
HCG is popular among steroid users because it can mitigate the side effects of ending a cycle of the drugs.
"Obviously for the greater part of the season they're still the top in a lot of offensive categories," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "Manny makes them that much better."
The Dodgers took a 5-0 lead in the first on four hits, two walks and two throwing errors on the same play.
With Ramirez on first and Furcal on second, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez fielded Ethier's grounder and forced Ramirez. Shortstop Everth Cabrera's return throw was wide of Gonzalez and caromed off the stands for an error. Gaudin tracked it down and his throw home was wide of catcher Eliezer Alfonzo, allowing Furcal to score.
"I think I tried to do a little too much too early instead of staying within myself," Gaudin said. "It got me a little erratic in the first, but I settled down and tried to keep us in the ballgame as best I could."
Martin added an RBI single in the third.
Kuroda (3-4) allowed three runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. Gaudin (4-7) allowed six runs and seven hits in five innings.
San Diego's Scott Hairson hit a solo homer in the fourth, his 10th. Gonzalez hit a two-run double in the sixth.
|This Dodgers fan is looking for answers from Manny, who finished serving a 50-game ban. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Rafael Furcal, SS||5||1||4||0||0||0||0||.250|
|Orlando Hudson, 2B||5||0||0||0||0||3||3||.289|
|Manny Ramirez, LF||3||0||0||0||1||0||2||.337|
|Juan Pierre, LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.321|
|Andre Ethier, RF||5||2||1||0||0||1||2||.256|
|Casey Blake, 3B||2||1||0||0||2||2||0||.284|
|James Loney, 1B||4||1||1||1||0||0||0||.278|
|Russell Martin, C||4||1||2||2||0||1||0||.250|
|Matt Kemp, CF||3||0||1||2||1||1||1||.303|
|Hiroki Kuroda, P||3||0||0||0||0||2||3||.000|
|Guillermo Mota, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Mark Loretta, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.247|
|Ramon Troncoso, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brent Leach, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jonathan Broxton, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Mota in the 8th|
|2B - Rafael Furcal (14, Gaudin), Andre Ethier (17, Gaudin), Matt Kemp (11, Gaudin)|
|RBI - James Loney (50), Russell Martin 2 (23), Matt Kemp 2 (43)|
|2-OUT RBI - James Loney (17), Russell Martin (13), Matt Kemp 2 (20)|
|SB - Rafael Furcal (5, 2nd base off Perdomo/Alfonzo)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Hiroki Kuroda (W,3-4)||5.1||4||3||3||2||2||1||3.91|
|Guillermo Mota (H,1)||1.2||0||0||0||0||2||0||3.93|
|Ramon Troncoso (H,8)||0.2||0||0||0||1||0||0||1.92|
|Brent Leach (H,4)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.18|
|Jonathan Broxton (S,20)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||2.09|
|Pitches-Strikes - Hiroki Kuroda 88-56, Guillermo Mota 22-14, Ramon Troncoso 15-8, Brent Leach 4-3, Jonathan Broxton 10-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hiroki Kuroda 8-6, Guillermo Mota 2-1, Ramon Troncoso 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Hiroki Kuroda 22, Guillermo Mota 5, Ramon Troncoso 3, Brent Leach 1, Jonathan Broxton 3|
|San Diego Padres|
|Tony Gwynn Jr., RF||3||1||0||0||1||0||1||.301|
|David Eckstein, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||.270|
|Scott Hairston, CF||3||1||1||1||1||1||2||.314|
|Adrian Gonzalez, 1B||4||0||1||2||0||0||1||.265|
|Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.232|
|Chase Headley, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.231|
|Eliezer Alfonzo, C||4||0||0||0||0||2||0||.250|
|Everth Cabrera, SS||2||0||1||0||1||0||0||.293|
|Chad Gaudin, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.056|
|a- Luis Rodriguez, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.202|
|Luis Perdomo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Mike Adams, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Will Venable, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.139|
|Cla Meredith, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Edward Mujica, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.000|
|a-grounded out for Gaudin in the 5th|
|b-struck out for Adams in the 7th|
|2B - Adrian Gonzalez (10, Kuroda)|
|HR - Scott Hairston (10, Kuroda)|
|RBI - Scott Hairston (29), Adrian Gonzalez 2 (50)|
|SB - Everth Cabrera (4, 2nd base off Kuroda/Martin)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|E - Everth Cabrera (3, Throwing), Chad Gaudin (2, Throwing)|
|San Diego Padres|
|Chad Gaudin (L,4-7)||5||7||6||6||4||4||0||5.35|
|IBB - Kemp by Chad Gaudin|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chad Gaudin 100-59, Luis Perdomo 15-10, Mike Adams 14-10, Cla Meredith 12-8, Edward Mujica 14-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Gaudin 11-0, Mike Adams 1-0, Cla Meredith 1-0, Edward Mujica 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Chad Gaudin 26, Luis Perdomo 4, Mike Adams 3, Cla Meredith 3, Edward Mujica 4|
|Attendance - 42217|
|Game Time - 3:00|
|Temperature - 68|
|Umpires - Home - Charlie Reliford, First Base - Larry Vanover, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Dan Iassogna|