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08/17/2013 12:10 AM EDT
Red-hot Dodgers beat Sandberg, Phillies 4-0
LA DODGERS 4, PHILADELPHIA 0

By AARON BRACY
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- No matter who is managing in the other
dugout, nothing can derail the Los Angeles Dodgers these days.

Zack Greinke pitched three-hit ball into the eighth inning and
Hanley Ramirez homered to lead the streaking Dodgers to a 4-0
victory over new manager Ryne Sandberg and the slumping
Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.

The defeat capped a tumultuous and emotional day for
Philadelphia. Charlie Manuel, the winningest manager in club
history, was fired earlier in the day by general manager Ruben
Amaro Jr., who broke down when delivering the news.

"It was a roller coaster of a day emotionally," Sandberg said.
"It affected me and I think it affects the players."

Sandberg, the Hall of Famer and former Cubs second baseman, was
promoted from third base coach to interim manager. But the
Phillies, who have lost 20 of 24, didn't play any differently
for Sandberg.

The Dodgers didn't play any differently, either.

Ramirez's two-run homer in the fourth was all the offense
Greinke (11-3) needed to lead Los Angeles to its season-best
ninth straight win and 18th victory in its last 19 road games.
The Dodgers are 41-8 since June 22.

Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said his club's approach is
simple: just win.

"The plan is intact, just win every night," he said. "I want to
win every day."

Jokingly asked if all the winning has gotten boring, Mattingly
said, "Are you kidding me? It's been great."

Greinke won his third straight start while outpitching Cliff Lee
(10-6) in a matchup of former AL Cy Young Award winners. The
right-hander struck out three and walked four.

"I felt pretty good. I was just trying to make pitches," Greinke
said. "I'm just trying to do my job and the bullpen has been
incredible. Lately everybody is talking about it. Nothing is
going bad. The pitching, the defense, the hitting and the
bullpen have been great. We've won a lot of close games. You
expect to win. That's how it's been."

It's been the opposite for the Phillies, even on days when they
get a strong pitching performance.

Lee, who entered 0-3 with a 5.63 ERA in his last four starts,
looked more like the $120 million pitcher he is by tossing eight
strong innings. He allowed three runs on five hits with six
strikeouts and one walk.

Ramirez had one of those hits, a drive to left in the fourth
that put Los Angeles ahead 2-0. He is 8 for 16 with three homers
against Lee.

"Other than that, I was pleased," Lee said.

But no one who spoke in the Phillies' clubhouse was happy about
Manuel's departure.

"I definitely enjoyed Charlie and liked playing for him," Lee
said. "I thought he did a good job. It's definitely our fault.
We weren't getting it done."

And they couldn't get it done against the Dodgers.

Los Angeles added a run in the seventh on Mark Ellis' double and
another in the ninth on Scott Van Slyke's single.

"Everybody's just trying to do their job, not try to do too
much," Ramirez said.

The Phillies, as has been the case for most of the second half,
had no answer. Sandberg questioned the team's focus before the
game, calling its play "lackadaisical" at times lately.
Philadelphia's batters appeared to be trying, but they couldn't
produce runs off Greinke or three Dodgers relievers.

The Phillies finished with just three hits while being shut out
for the 11th time.

"Not executing and lackadaisical play are completely different
but look the same," Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins said.

The Phillies threatened in the eighth, loading the bases with
two outs before Ronald Belisario struck out Darin Ruf.

It's been that kind of season for Philadelphia, especially
lately.

Manuel paid for it.

The 69-year-old skipper was in the final year of his contract
and wanted to manage another two or three seasons.

"I never quit nothing and I didn't resign," Manuel said, making
it clear he was pushed out the door.

Phillies fans responded to the news by bringing impromptu signs
to the game thanking Manuel for his tenure. One of the loudest
cheers of the evening went to a young boy shown on the
electronic scoreboard wearing a T-shirt that read: "Thanks
Charlie. I'll Miss You."

Sandberg managed the Phillies' Triple-A team at Lehigh Valley
the previous two seasons. He was part of one of the most
lopsided trades in baseball history when the Phillies traded him
and Larry Bowa to the Cubs for shortstop Ivan DeJesus in 1982.

Amaro said Sandberg takes over on an interim basis and would be
evaluated after the season. Sandberg inherited a team that
entered Friday 20 1/2 games out of first place in the NL East.

"These guys are professional players, they're getting paid
well," Sandberg said. "Sometimes players have to dig deeper,
play with pride, play with heart and for the name on the front
of the uniform."

Manuel won his 1,000th game as a manager on Monday in Atlanta.
Two days later, he sat in the dugout knowing it would be his
last game after Amaro informed him of the decision not to extend
his contract. The Phillies had planned to honor Manuel on Friday
by presenting him with a base signed by every member of the
team. Those plans were canceled.

Manuel led Philadelphia to the franchise's second World Series
title in 2008 and brought the team back to the Series in 2009,
when the Phillies lost to the Yankees in six games.

Manuel was 780-636 with the Phillies and won five straight NL
East titles from 2007-11. He also spent three years as manager
of the Cleveland Indians, winning the AL Central in 2001.

NOTES: It was the Dodgers' 15th shutout of the season. ...
Dodgers C A.J. Ellis took a foul ball by Ruf off his left knee
in the eighth. A limping Ellis remained in the game. ... The
Dodgers recalled Van Slyke from Triple-A Albuquerque and
optioned shortstop Dee Gordon to their top farm club. Van Slyke
went 1 for 4 with an RBI. ... Philadelphia placed left-hander
John Lannan on the disabled list with left knee tendinosis and
recalled right-handed reliever B.J. Rosenberg, who has a 12.00
ERA in three appearances this season. ... Dodgers LHP Clayton
Kershaw (11-7, 1.88 ERA) opposes Phillies RHP Kyle Kendrick
(10-9, 4.48) on Saturday night.

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