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The new Dodgers: Hit four home runs to down Braves, 6-2

August 18, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez follows through on a home run during the second inning of Saturday's game.
Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez follows through on a home run during the… (Scott Cunningham / Getty…)

The Dodgers, so active on the trade front, were nearly reinvented before this year’s nonwaiver trade deadline. Exactly how they had changed was mostly best-guess work.

They just may have offered a little insight as to how they’ve evolved Saturday night in Atlanta, showing the kind of power that has been a rare sight this season.

The Dodgers – who rank last in all of baseball in home runs – hit four homers to stun Ben Sheets and the Braves, 6-2, at Turner Field.

Three of the homers came on consecutive at-bats in the second inning by Hanley Ramirez, James Loney and Luis Cruz -- the first time the Dodgers had gone back-to-back-to-back in five years.

Then Ramirez, the Dodgers’ big acquisition, followed a pair of walks in the sixth by adding a three-run homer.

The Dodgers managed only four hits all night, but all were homers.

The two-homer day continued a strong trip for Ramirez. In nine games on the trip, he’s batting .447 (17 for 38) with three home runs and 14 runs batted in. In his first 23 games as a Dodger, Ramirez has driven in 26 runs.

The Dodgers haven’t been the kind of team that could win much behind power this year, at least the pre-Ramirez version. But with Ramirez in the middle of the lineup and Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier back and healthy, the Dodgers have an element to their attack that had been missing most of the season.

It was long-ball or nothing for the Dodgers on Saturday. Only Loney walking with two outs in the ninth prevented the Dodgers from ending the night without leaving a single batter on base.

All this transpired with Manager Don Mattingly watching from a luxury suit with General Manager Ned Colletti. Mattingly served the first of his two-game suspension for “excessive arguing” with umpires during Thursday’s game in Pittsburgh.

The beneficiary of this power outburst was right-hander Aaron Harang (9-7), who gave up a first-inning run on a double to Martin Prado, and then got David Ross on a check swing that he unintentionally fouled into catcher A.J. Ellis’ glove with two outs and the bases loaded.

Harang settled down after the first, the Braves unable to score against him again. Harang went 6 2/3 innings, surrendering the one run on four hits. He walked five and struck out eight.

Kenley Jansen surrendered a solo home run to Prado in the ninth, but earned his 25th save.

There wasn’t one single by either team. The Braves had five hits, all for extra bases.

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