Manny Ramirez drove in three runs as the Dodgers beat the New York Mets 8-0 on Tuesday, but the LA slugger was ejected in the fifth inning for an incident involving the home plate umpire. Ramirez, playing in his fourth game since returning from a 50-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy, gave the Dodgers a 3-0 lead with a two-run single in the second and then drove in another run in the fourth.
After being called out on strikes by home plate umpire John Hirschbeck in the fifth with the bases loaded, Ramirez, without looking, flipped his arm protector in Hirschbeck's direction. It landed near home plate and Ramirez was ejected. Los Angeles starter Clayton Kershaw (6-5) got the win after pitching a three-hitter for six innings. He struck out seven and walked two.The loss was the ninth in 11 games for the injury hit Mets. Ramirez was also called out on strikes in the first inning and conceded Hirschbeck was correct.
"The first time, I came in and looked at the replay and it was a strike, so the next at-bat I told him: 'My bad, it was a strike'. And he told me, 'Thanks for that,'" Ramirez said. After the second strikeout in the fifth inning, Ramirez flipped his bat and helmet toward the Dodgers' dugout, then undid his arm protector and flipped that too. Replays showed the third strike was actually outside. "He [Hirschbeck] made a mistake," Ramirez said.
"I think it's a ball. I just threw my pad and walked to the field." Ryan Ludwick crushed a three-run homer in the first inning as the NL Central-leading St Louis Cardinals took the first game of their series against the second-placed Milwaukee Brewers 5-0. Andruw Jones's three-run homer highlighted a six-run fifth inning that propelled the Texas Rangers to an 8-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the battle for first place in the American League West. The Rangers were trailing 3-0 after Juan Rivera had hit the first of his two homers in the fourth inning, but turned the game on its head as they chased Angels ace John Lackey from the game.
The Boston Red Sox player Josh Beckett is on the verge of a career milestone after winning his 99th game in a 5-2 decision over the Oakland Athletics. Beckett allowed two runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings to stay perfect this season at Fenway Park with a 5-0 record. * Agencies