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Houston at Los Angeles

Scoreboard
Houston (45-44) «000010200370
L.A. Dodgers (56-33)000000000080

Astros beat Dodgers, spoil Manny's return to L.A.

CBSSports.com wire reports
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LOS ANGELES -- Mannywood's main attraction was back in residence at Dodger Stadium and Manny Ramirez received a warm welcome, even if he wasn't any help.

Wandy Rodriguez combined with four relievers on an eight-hitter in the Houston Astros' 3-0 victory against Los Angeles on Thursday night, spoiling Ramirez's first game at home since his 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy ended.

"It was great. I was looking forward to this game," he said. "I'm just glad I got that game out of the way. I was just playing the game like I always do."

Just not with his usual results.

Ramirez went 1 for 4 with two strikeouts while being greeted with cheers, chants of his name and camera flashes that sparkled around the stadium. The Mannywood section in the field level seats has been restored.

"This is my town," he said, laughing.

He singled to lead off the eighth, but he was erased on a double play one batter later.

"I wanted to make good pitches to Manny and I didn't want to miss because he's a good hitter," Rodriguez said. "So I made good pitches to him and had good location with my breaking ball."

In the ninth, Ramirez walked over to center fielder Matt Kemp and rested on one knee chatting with Kemp and right fielder Andre Ethier as reliever Scott Elbert warmed up.

"Intensity is up a bit more than it was when he was gone," Kemp said.

There were plenty of empty seats among the announced crowd of 45,970 for Ramirez's return, which came after he rejoined the team at San Diego on July 3 for a nine-game road trip. Owners Frank and Jamie McCourt were out of town.

"I don't need to talk about anything more. I just need to show up and play the game," said Ramirez, who has repeatedly declined to explain what led to his suspension.

Ramirez's return proved anticlimactic since he had already rejoined the team.

"We were all looking forward to it, but for us, we've been seeing him every day," manager Joe Torre said. "I knew there would be more attention than normal coming back on a road trip, unfortunately, we couldn't win.

"We had a couple opportunities and we just couldn't make anything out of it."

That was because of Rodriguez (9-6), who gave up five hits in six innings, struck out six and walked two in winning his fifth in a row. The Astros have won the left-hander's past five starts and six of his past seven.

Jose Valverde, the fourth Astros reliever, earned his ninth save in 13 chances.

"It was a great effort by Wandy," Houston manager Cecil Cooper said. "It was big for him to go out there and throw up zeros like that against a pretty good hitting team. He had everything working and he made some huge pitches to get Manny. They really kind of pushed him in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, but he maintained his composure and kept making pitches."

There was one bit of bad news for Houston. First baseman Lance Berkman left the game with a mild left calf strain and is day to day. He's leading the team in home runs and RBI.

"I don't think it's bad," Cooper said. "He's got ice on it, so now we just have to wait and see tomorrow."

Humberto Quintero hit his first home run of the season on the first pitch from Randy Wolf (4-4) with two outs in the fifth inning.

The left-hander allowed five hits and three runs in six-plus innings, with six strikeouts and one walk against his former team.

Wolf retired 14 of the first 16 batters he faced before giving up the home run. He retired the next four batters before allowing three consecutive singles to load the bases with no outs in the seventh. Guillermo Mota replaced him and allowed an RBI single to Kazuo Matsui on his fourth pitch, making it 2-0.

"I felt great. It's the sharpest I've been in a while," Wolf said. "I located my fastball and just had a good feel."

The Astros extended their lead to 3-0 on a double-play grounder by Quintero that scored Miguel Tejada.

Ethier hit into a bases-loaded double-play with Ramirez on deck in the fifth.

Notes

  • Juan Pierre, who replaced Ramirez in left field during the slugger's suspension, got a standing ovation when he entered as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. "If it wasn't for Juan P. we wouldn't be in the situation we are now," Kemp said.
  • The Dodgers placed RHP Cory Wade on the 15-day DL and recalled INF Blake DeWitt from Triple A-Albuquerque.
  • The Astros recalled LHP Wesley Wright from Triple A-Round Rock to fill the roster spot vacated when RHP Felipe Paulino was optioned to Round Rock on Sunday.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Manny Ramirez doesn't have a Hollywood return to L.A., going 1 for 4 with two strikeouts.  (AP)
Manny Ramirez doesn't have a Hollywood return to L.A., going 1 for 4 with two strikeouts. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

W. Rodriguez
IP 6.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 2
K 6
Los Angeles

O. Hudson
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF4000021 .283
Jeff Keppinger, 3B3000100 .268
Lance Berkman, 1B3000110 .269
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
Carlos Lee, LF3110101 .308
Miguel Tejada, SS4110003 .328
Hunter Pence, RF4020010 .300
Kazuo Matsui, 2B4021011 .257
Humberto Quintero, C4111022 .247
Wandy Rodriguez, P2000011 .029
   a- Geoff Blum, PH1000001 .280
    Tim Byrdak, P0000000 .000
    Alberto Arias, P0000000 .000
    Darin Erstad, 1B1000001 .163
Totals3337238  
a-grounded out for Rodriguez in the 7th
Batting
2B - Kazuo Matsui (9, Wolf)
HR - Humberto Quintero (1, Wolf)
RBI - Kazuo Matsui (22), Humberto Quintero (10)
2-OUT RBI - Humberto Quintero (5)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Tejada-Berkman, Erstad-Tejada
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez (W,9-6) 6500260 2.81
Tim Byrdak0000100 3.45
Alberto Arias (H,7) 1100020 1.52
LaTroy Hawkins (H,9) 1100000 2.33
Jose Valverde (S,9) 1100000 3.27
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 108-68, Tim Byrdak 6-2, Alberto Arias 18-13, LaTroy Hawkins 16-10, Jose Valverde 16-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 6-5, Alberto Arias 1-0, LaTroy Hawkins 2-0, Jose Valverde 2-1
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 24, Tim Byrdak 1, Alberto Arias 4, LaTroy Hawkins 3, Jose Valverde 4
Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS3000122 .253
Andre Ethier, RF4010003 .250
Manny Ramirez, LF4010021 .352
Casey Blake, 3B3010101 .285
Matt Kemp, CF4000013 .316
Russell Martin, C4010003 .258
James Loney, 1B3010101 .281
Orlando Hudson, 2B4030010 .288
Randy Wolf, P2000012 .081
    Guillermo Mota, P0000000 .000
   a- Juan Pierre, PH1000012 .327
    Brent Leach, P0000000 .000
    Claudio Vargas, P0000000 .000
    Scott Elbert, P0000000 .250
   b- Mark Loretta, PH1000001 .243
Totals3308038  
a-struck out for Mota in the 7th
b-grounded out for Elbert in the 9th
Batting
2B - Orlando Hudson (25, Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Furcal-Hudson-Loney
Los Angeles Dodgers
Randy Wolf (L,4-4) 6533161 3.51
Guillermo Mota 1100000 3.43
Brent Leach 0.2000110 4.12
Claudio Vargas 1100110 0.00
Scott Elbert 0.1000000 4.82
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Wolf 94-62, Guillermo Mota 11-6, Brent Leach 11-5, Claudio Vargas 22-13, Scott Elbert 4-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Wolf 7-5, Guillermo Mota 2-0, Brent Leach 1-0, Claudio Vargas 1-1, Scott Elbert 1-0
Batters Faced - Randy Wolf 24, Guillermo Mota 3, Brent Leach 3, Claudio Vargas 5, Scott Elbert 1
Game Information
Attendance - 45970
Game Time - 3:06
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Mike DiMuro, Third Base - Casey Moser