's suspension didn't slow down the
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers played their 50th and final game without Ramirez, beating the
1-0 Wednesday on pinch-hitter
'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
''It's not until you lose somebody like Manny that you realize that there's no safety net out there,'' Dodgers manager
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 over the last 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.
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
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.''
, 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 RBIs, 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 6 1/2-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 9 1/2
games with a 1-0 win against Arizona on June 3. They've leveled off since then, going 13-11, But still entered Wednesday with
a six-game lead over San Francisco.
''I'm not surprised by what they've done in his absence - not with the addition of
and what he's meant to their infield defense, the professional they have at third base in
and the kind of year that
is having,'' Rockies manager
said. ''They're a very talented team with a tremendous amount of athleticism, but the biggest thing has been the improvement
of their bullpen.''
(2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the win and
pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 19th save for the Dodgers, who have a major league-leading 17 wins by a one-run margin.
led off the eighth inning with a single against Rockies starter
(5-4) and advanced on
ran for Ausmus and scored when Furcal stroked a single to right field on the right-hander's 100th pitch while batting for
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.
allowed just one hit over five innings and threw 97 pitches. Kershaw struck out five and issued a season-high five walks.
's two-out double in the first inning was Colorado's only hit until
doubled with two outs in the seventh against
NOTES: San Diego's starting pitchers this weekend against the Dodgers will be
. Ramirez is 5 for 11 with a home run against Gaudin, and 2 for 3 with a homer against Geer. He has never faced Banks in the
regular season. ... Dodgers pitchers struck out 39 Colorado batters during the three games.