unleashed his pent-up power in one electrifying swing that landed, fittingly, in Mannywood.
Ramirez's tie-breaking pinch-hit grand slam in the sixth inning on his bobblehead night Wednesday sent the
Los Angeles Dodgers
to a 6-2 victory over Cincinnati, their 12th consecutive at home against the Reds.
''It's crazy,'' he said.
He was kept out of the starting lineup for precautionary reasons with a sore left hand after being hit by a pitch a night
''Just the way he was sort of stalking around the dugout, I could feel something would happen if he had the opportunity,''
Did it ever.
It was Ramirez's grandest moment since returning July 3 from a 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug rules. He's
batting .347 with four homers and 17 RBI in 16 games since coming back.
''I guess Manny's hand wasn't as bad as we thought,'' Reds manager
said. ''It doesn't get more dramatic than that - a grand slam on your own bobblehead night. That's the stuff that I'd seen
Ramirez said his hand felt good, but that he planned to ice it after the game.
Fans at the sold-out game chanted ''Manny! Manny!'' as they saw him in the dugout putting on his batting helmet. The anticipation
built as the Reds changed pitchers.
Without a single practice swing, Ramirez sent the first pitch from reliever
into the Mannywood section of lower left field seats for his 21st career grand slam, giving Los Angeles a 6-2 lead and putting
the crowd into a frenzy.
''It reminded me how loud it got when we hit those four (consecutive) homers against San Diego,'' catcher
said, referring to a dramatic Dodgers win in 10 innings against San Diego in 2006.
It moved Ramirez into second on the career grand slam list, trailing only
's 23. It was his first grand slam since 2005.
''It was one of the best moments in my career,'' he said. ''I'm just glad it happened in LA.''
Ramirez had never seen Masset pitch before, let alone heard of him.
''That's pretty much the area I wanted to put the ball. It just didn't sink the way it normally does,'' Masset said. ''I was
just trying to jam him, get a ground ball and get out of the inning. I was basically trying to go at him with my best stuff
and it didn't work out.''
Teammates shoved Ramirez onto the top step of the dugout, where he waved his cap to acknowledge a standing ovation for his
11th homer of the season and his first career pinch-hit homer.
''He's the magic man,'' Martin said.
It was Ramirez's first homer into the ''Mannywood'' section, which was resurrected after his suspension ended.
Ramirez's exhilarating moment was the only souvenir for 6,000 fans who went home without a bobblehead, which were limited
to the first 50,000.
''I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit,'' said Ramirez, who arrived at his locker and peeled off his Dodgers shirt
and white pants to reveal street clothes.
''Now can I go home?'' he said, drawing laughter.
The Dodgers set the stage for Ramirez's heroics with one out in the sixth.
, then Martin singled hard to left to load the bases. Arroyo gave way to Masset, who warmed up as the crowd got worked up
in anticipation of Ramirez's at-bat.
''I'm running around the bases amazed, just laughing. I was in awe,'' Kemp said. ''He's amazing, man. I can't really explain
him. I've never seen somebody who can go up there, no warmups or nothing, and just go hit. I need at least a couple of swings.''
The victory moved the NL West-leading Dodgers 27 games over .500 for the first time since the last day of the 1988 season,
when they went on to win their most recent World Series championship.
Ramirez pinch-hit for
(9-6), who allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings, struck out seven and walked one. The right-hander won for the first
time in his last seven starts and is 1-2 in that stretch.
''Just listening to the crowd when he went up, something good was going to happen,'' Billingsley said. ''I wasn't expecting
a home run, though. He's one of the greatest hitters of all time. We got the win, that's all that matters.''
Arroyo gave up five runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings, struck out eight and walked four.
tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the first with his 20th homer with two outs.
's RBI double down the right field line notched the Reds' first run in the first.
Loney put the Dodgers ahead 2-1 in the fourth with an RBI triple that scored Ethier, who walked.
Billingsley battled his control in the sixth, when he gave up a wild pitch with two outs that tied the game 2-2.
NOTES: The last time the Dodgers had a 12-game home winning streak was 1958-59, when they beat Pittsburgh that many times
in a row. ... Cincinnati manager
said before the game he planned to snag a keepsake bobblehead for himself, adding that Ramirez has been kind to his 10-year-old