CINCINNATI(AP) With one swing,
ended his drought and started a rout.
Ramirez hit the first of Los Angeles' four homers, and the Dodgers blew a four-run lead Saturday before powering their way
to an 11-4 victory that ended the
' longest winning streak of the season at five games.
Ramirez connected on a two-run shot in the first inning off left-hander
(0-3), his first homer since Aug. 11. His opposite-field shot landed in the Los Angeles bullpen and gave the Dodgers an emotional
lift - he was back in the swing of things.
''We get a lift when he comes to the ballpark every day,'' said
, who added a three-run homer. ''His attitude is great. You can never tell if he's struggling or hitting good.''
On this day, most of the Dodgers were good.
hit a tiebreaking solo shot in the fifth and
also homered as Los Angeles pulled away.
added three hits, helping the Dodgers pile up 13 overall.
''They didn't hit many balls hard,'' said Maloney, who gave up the first two homers. ''Manny got just enough of it to get
(6-4) bailed out starter
, who had a tough time getting his knuckleball to work. Haeger squandered a 4-0 lead in less than three innings.
''It wasn't working very well today, that's all,'' Haeger said. ''It's going to happen. You live and die by it.''
The NL West leaders improved to 21-4 against Cincinnati since 2006, their best mark against any NL team. Two slumping hitters
got them through an early rough spot.
Ramirez took a called third strike with the bases loaded to end the Reds' 4-2 win on Friday night, the third time he failed
with runners in scoring position during the game. The outfielder has been in a deep slump - his homer in the first inning
Saturday was only his second extra-base hit in the last 14 games.
Furcal came in batting .198 over his last 19 games, but had a sacrifice fly, a solo homer and a single.
Falling behind fast is the Reds' way. They've given up 109 runs in the first inning, the most in the majors. This time, they
did something very much out of character: They caught up.
Their biggest comebacks of the season involved four-run deficits. Down 4-0,
broke an 0-for-22 slump by leading off the third inning with a homer, the first of his career.
added a two-run homer later in the inning off Haeger.
liked what he saw of Haeger in his two previous starts, when he gave up a total of three runs in 14 innings. The 25-year-old
pitcher wasn't afraid to throw the knuckleball at any point in the count, showing full faith in his unpredictable pitch.
Torre also knew the steep downside to a knuckleball pitcher: If that one pitch doesn't do much, there's not much else to do
but get him out of the game. And that's what he did after the 66th pitch.
''When you stop getting swings and misses, you know something's up,'' Torre said. ''It's: 'Uh-oh.'''
The Dodger bullpen had two big escapes. The Reds failed to score in the fifth off Weaver despite loading the bases with none
out. The right-hander got a forceout at home, a popup and a strikeout by Tatum.
''Sometimes you use their aggressiveness against them,'' Weaver said. ''That's what I did.''
Weaver was replaced by
with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, and Hudson made a diving stop of
's grounder to second, ending that threat and keeping the Dodgers ahead.
''It really hurt to leave the bases loaded with nobody out, especially after we'd just scored four runs,'' Reds manager
said. ''Then Hudson made that great play on Rolen. If that gets through and we take the lead, who knows what might have happened?
That's what happens when you play great defense. It can save teams.''
NOTES: Dodgers RHP
threw 35 pitches in a simulated game without any problems. Kuroda was hit on the right side of the head by a line drive Aug.
15 and went on the disabled list with a concussion. He could begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment as early as next
week. ... Reds OF
was sidelined for a second day with a sore neck. He got treatment and is expected to miss a few more games.