Dodgers' Hanley Ramirez limps off the field after he injured his hamstring… (Jason O. Watson / Getty Images )
SAN FRANCISCO — The elements were all there for an evening of drama, of triumph, of celebration of the human spirit.
Instead, the evening might be best remembered for another devastating injury. The Dodgers braced for the extended loss of Hanley Ramirez — four games into his injury-delayed season — because of a hamstring injury that made a 2-1 walk-off loss to the San Francisco Giants that much more depressing.
Buster Posey led off the ninth inning with a home run off Ronald Belisario, snapping a 1-1 tie and sending a sellout crowd erupting into chants of “Beat L.A.!” as the Dodgers shuffled into their clubhouse to contemplate another injury.
BOX SCORE: San Francisco 2, Dodgers 1
“This is going to end,” Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said. “It doesn't look very good right now.”
The Dodgers did not immediately put Ramirez on the disabled list, but Mattingly compared the hamstring injury to the one that caused Matt Kemp to miss 51 games last season. Mattingly said the Dodgers had not decided whether to put Justin Sellers back at shortstop or call up Dee Gordon from triple-A Albuquerque.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, pitching for the first time since the death of his father last Sunday, carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He had doubled and scored the game's lone run through five innings.
But the no-hitter was gone in the sixth, Kershaw was gone after seven, and the team with the highest payroll in National League history was left to deploy this infield: Jerry Hairston Jr. at first base, Nick Punto at second, Sellers at shortstop and Luis Cruz at third.
In other words, the Dodgers had injury replacements at three positions and a guy batting .098 at third base.
And a day that started with the Dodgers scratching their top hitter, Adrian Gonzalez, because of neck stiffness and putting Ted Lilly on the disabled list for the second time this season ended with the likelihood that Ramirez will go on the DL for the second time this year.
Gonzalez injured his neck in a collision with an umpire Wednesday. He left the ballpark Friday holding a neck brace, in the hope it would help him avoid another sleepless night.
“I can't turn my neck right now,” he said.
For Ramirez, this would be the opposite of a field of dreams. The last time he set foot on this field, in the championship game of the World Baseball Classic in March, he dived for a ground ball and tore up his right thumb.
He had surgery, sat out five weeks, tuned up with a couple games in the minor leagues, then rejoined the Dodgers on Monday.
After four games, he is injured again.
With none out in the sixth inning, and the Dodgers up 1-0, Ramirez was on first base. A.J. Ellis singled to right field, and Ramirez tried to take the extra base.
He rounded second but slowed up as he approached third. He was tagged out, then grabbed his left leg as he hopped gingerly toward the Dodgers dugout. Trainers assisted him off the field.
Kershaw got no decision for his seven innings, in which he gave up one run and three hits. He worked out at his old Texas high school while mourning the loss of his father, Chris.
“It was good to get back there and share everything and commemorate his life,” Kershaw said. “It was good to get back to baseball too. It's weird watching games on TV.”