Hanley Ramirez lined an RBI single over a drawn-in infield in the 9th inning, and Los Angeles Dodgers finished a 3-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs with a seesaw 7-6 victory on Sunday. Los Angeles remains a half-game behind National League West-leading SF Giants and 3 1-2 ahead of 3rd-place Arizona.
”We knew what we were getting when we got Hanley. He’s a really special player, someone that can undoubtedly change a game and is a difference maker,” right fielder Andre Ethier asserted. ”So we’re pretty lucky to have him come over here for the remainder of the season and 2 more years. It adds another really exciting player to our lineup. And his defense is very good out there, as well, the way he’s able to man both 3rd base and shortstop.”
Shawn Camp (2-5) walked Matt Kemp on 4 pitches with one out in the 9th and Ethier’s single put runners at the corners for Ramirez, who is 10 for 42 with Eleven RBIs in 11 games since he was purchased from the Marlins – including a tiebreaking 2-run homer in the 10th inning of a 5-3 win at San Francisco on July 27.
”I like these times. That is the reason why I’m here for, to help this team win ballgames,” Ramirez recounted. ”I’m not making an attempt to do too much – just take what they give you – and that’s the key for me. I was looking out for a fastball in, so I just wanted to slow down everything and turn fast on it.”
Chicago Cubs rookie Anthony Rizzo had 3 RBIs, including a tying solo home run leading off the top of the ninth against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen (5-3) after Ethier gave L.A a 6-5 lead with a 2-run double in the 7th against James Russell. The blown save was Jansen’s 6th in 27 opportunities.
Alfonso Soriano put the Cubs ahead 5-4 in the 7th with a 2-run single against Javy Guerra, who came in after Randy Choate gave up Rizzo’s sacrifice fly. Sports scores
Joe Blanton allowed 2 runs and 5 hits, struck out 5 and tied a season high with 3 walks in his Dodgers debut. The 9-year vet right-hander, who was purchased from Philadelphia on Friday in a trade after L. A. claimed him on waivers, departed with a 4-2 lead before the bullpen squandered it.
”He’s a top quality starter and he’ll add a small depth to our rotation,” Ethier said. ”When we faced him with Philly, he always was solid and gave them a top quality outing. He got an opportunity today to get things going with us, and he that’s certainly what he did. He made one or two mistakes, but he fought thru those situations and gave us a chance. We had the win set up for him, but sadly we gave the lead away.”
Cubs’ reliever Scott Maine gave up a bases-loaded walk to pinch-hitter Juan Rivera and the two-run single by Luis Cruz that put the Dodgers ahead 4-2 in the 6th. The rally began when Cubs starter Justin Germano hit Mark Ellis with a 3-2 pitch and Alberto Cabrera loaded the bases with walks to Kemp and Ramirez.
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