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Dodgers' erratic ways are evident in split with Yankees

Poor play that has plagued the Dodgers continues in a 6-4 loss in the first game, but a glimpse of how good the team can perform sometimes is on display in a 6-0 victory in the second game.

June 19, 2013|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Hanley Ramirez looks to beat out Jayson Nix with a throw to first during the Dodgers' 6-0 victory over the New York Yankees in second game of a doubleheader Wednesday.
Hanley Ramirez looks to beat out Jayson Nix with a throw to first during the… (Frank Franklin II / Associated…)

NEW YORK — A 6-4 loss to the New York Yankees in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday demonstrated why the Dodgers are in last place. A 6-0 victory in the second game at Yankee Stadium showed why that might change.

The reason for the optimism was Hanley Ramirez, who played in his 10th and 11th games since being activated from the disabled list June 4. Ramirez was six for 10 with a home run, a double and two runs batted in in the two games.

Ramirez batted cleanup, behind No. 2 hitter Yasiel Puig and No. 3 hitter Adrian Gonzalez. The trio was a combined 14 for 28.

"It's starting to look like the group we talked about early this year," Manager Don Mattingly said.

Ramirez said this was only a preview.

"It's going to get better," Ramirez said, looking ahead to Matt Kemp's return from the disabled list.

Five innings into the second game, the Dodgers spotted starting pitcher Chris Capuano a 5-0 lead. Capuano was surprisingly effective in his return from the disabled list, holding the Yankees to three hits over six innings. Mattingly said Capuano might have pitched another inning if the Dodgers didn't have such a substantial lead.

Whatever offensive lift the Dodgers received from Ramirez in the first game was wiped out by their ineptitude. Ramirez was four for four with a home run, but the Dodgers made crucial errors that cost them the game.

They were trailing, 2-0, in the fourth inning when they put men on second and third base with none out. Andre Ethier lined out to pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, who doubled off Gonzalez at third base.

Reliever Ronald Belisario's mistake in the seventh inning was even more glaring. He was brought in with two on and one out to face Vernon Wells, who hit a popup to him. Evidently thinking he could get a double play, Belisario let the ball drop, only to lose it between his legs. Seeing he didn't have a play at first base, Belisario fired the ball toward second base. His wide throw sailed into center field and allowed a run to score that put the Dodgers behind, 4-2.

"We've talked about it constantly: take your outs," Mattingly said. "I've never really seen that play work, where you let the ball bounce — ever."

Catcher A.J. Ellis could be heard shouting something at Belisario.

"I was encouraging him to catch the ball," Ellis said. "Then I was encouraging him to throw the ball to third because that's where I thought the best play was."

Belisario plunked the next batter, Thomas Neal, and was removed. His replacement, Paco Rodriguez, served up a two-run single to Ichiro Suzuki that put the game out of reach.

Second baseman Skip Schumaker made two errors in that game. Kuroda, a former Dodger, was credited with the victory.

Short hops

In the first inning of each game, a chant of "Don-nie Base-ball!" could be heard from the right-field bleachers. This marked Mattingly's first game in the Bronx since he moved to the Dodgers in the fall of 2007. … Outfielder Alex Castellanos was optioned to triple-A Albuquerque after the first game to make room on the active roster for Capuano. … Matt Magill pitched only two innings for Albuquerque, a sign he could be called up to start in San Diego on Sunday. Because the Dodgers were rained out Tuesday, they don't have a pitcher on the roster who would be able to start Sunday on regular rest.

Twitter: @dylanohernandez

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