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Dodgers' Hanley Ramirez continues hot streak on the road

With two home runs against Atlanta on Saturday, the shortstop has hit three in the first nine games of a 10-game trip and driven in 14 runs.

August 19, 2012|By Jim Peltz
  • Hanley Ramirez follows through on a three-run home run against the Atlanta Braves.
Hanley Ramirez follows through on a three-run home run against the Atlanta… (John Amis / Associated Press )

ATLANTA — The longer the Dodgers stay on the road, the hotter Hanley Ramirez seems to get.

With two home runs Saturday against the Atlanta Braves, including a three-run blast, Ramirez has hit three home runs and driven in 14 runs in the first nine games of a 10-game trip.

"I've been feeling good at home plate, I've been seeing the ball better," said Ramirez, who has 18 home runs.

When he was traded to the Dodgers from the Miami Marlins in late July, Ramirez was batting .246. But on this trip, the shortstop is batting .447 (17 for 38).

Ramirez said he has gotten valuable hitting advice from Dodgers coach Manny Mota.

"I talk to him every day," Ramirez said. "He's given me a lot of confidence."

Don Mattingly is suspended

Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp avoided a suspension for his role in a recent argument with a plate umpire but Manager Don Mattingly was suspended for two games.

Mattingly, who also was fined an undisclosed amount, was penalized for "excessive arguing" in the team's game with the Pirates in Pittsburgh on Thursday, according to Major League Baseball executive Joe Garagiola Jr.

Dodgers bench coach Trey Hillman took Mattingly's place Saturday night and will do so again Sunday when the Dodgers complete their three-game series with the Atlanta Braves.

Kemp and Mattingly vehemently argued with umpire Angel Campos early in the game, and Mattingly said Friday that he expected a suspension.

When Mattingly arrived at the Dodgers clubhouse at Turner Field on Saturday, the suspension letter was waiting on his desk.

It said, "basically, I got to keep my guys under control," Mattingly, wearing his Dodgers uniform, told reporters during batting practice Saturday. But when the game started, Mattingly had to be off the field.

As for Kemp avoiding a suspension, "I'm happy about that," Mattingly said.

Kemp did not want to further discuss the incident at length.

"No suspension, there isn't anything to talk about," Kemp said. But he added that he was "glad, very happy" not to sit out any games.

Scott Elbert is set to return

After appearing in three rehabilitation games, reliever Scott Elbert was in the Dodgers clubhouse waiting for word on when he would be activated.

"They wanted me down here today and they'll let me know," the left-hander said. "Possibly tomorrow but maybe Monday as well, not sure."

Elbert has been on the disabled list since July 26 because of a sore elbow. But after pitching to six batters in three appearances for double-A Chattanooga, and striking out all six, Elbert said, "I feel really good."

"Obviously, throwing [in] three out of four [games] there's muscle soreness but it's normal, nothing in my elbow," Elbert said.

"To be gone for four days is like, man, you start to miss everybody a lot," Elbert added.

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