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Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Manny Ramirez was a non-factor in his return to the Los Angeles lineup, but the Dodgers got home runs from four different players, all on back-to-back occasions, in an 8-5 triumph over the NL Central-leading Reds, snapping Cincinnati’s seven-game winning streak.
Ryan Theriot, Andre Ethier, Jay Gibbons and Matt Kemp each hit a solo homer, as the Dodgers bounced back from a 3-1 loss on Friday. That defeat snapped a 12-game home winning streak over the Reds.
Ramirez, who was put on the DL July 20, retroactive to July 17, due to a right calf strain, went hitless in three at-bats and fanned twice before being replaced in left field by Reed Johnson to start the sixth inning.
Chad Billingsley (10-7), who had lost his last two decisions, allowed seven hits and three runs over 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander, who also had seven strikeouts, posted his first victory since July 27 at San Diego.
Jonathan Broxton was back in the closer’s role and retired the side in order in the ninth to get his 22nd save.
It was a rough return for Cincinnati righty Johnny Cueto (11-4), who was out while serving a seven-game suspension for his actions in a benches-clearing brawl against St. Louis earlier this month. Cueto permitted five hits, four of them homers, five runs and walked three batters over three innings.
Joey Votto drove in two runs for the Reds, who had an eight-game road winning streak snapped. Their lead in the NL Central was trimmed to 3 1/2 games over the Cardinals, who beat San Francisco earlier Saturday.
Cueto walked three straight batters in the first inning, the last in the stretch to Casey Blake to force in the game’s first run.
The Dodgers then played longball in the second with Theriot and Ethier going- back-to-back with two outs. Gibbons homered to center leading off the bottom of the third and Kemp followed suit to left for a 5-0 margin.
Drew Stubbs scored on Votto’s groundout in the fourth, but Billingsley worked out of a jam in the fifth when he fanned Stubbs to leave two runners on base.
Blake doubled in a run in the fifth and scored on Jamey Carroll’s base hit to left.
The Reds scored twice in the sixth and seventh to make it a tight game at 7-5. Jay Bruce lofted a sacrifice fly in the sixth and Ramon Hernandez followed with an RBI double. In the seventh, Votto singled in Brandon Phillips and then Scott Rolen’s fielder’s choice grounder plated Stubbs. Rolen went to second on a balk, but was left there when Jonny Gomes flied out.
Blake and Carroll singled in the bottom of the inning off Jordan Smith. Brad Ausmus followed by hitting a chopper toward third base, and Rolen’s throw home was late, allowing Blake to score.
The Dodgers made room for Ramirez on the roster by designating infielder Juan Castro for assignment…Cueto fell to 0-3 lifetime against the Dodgers…Billingsley hasn’t given up a homer in his last 87 innings, the longest current stretch in the majors.
Here are tonight’s lineups, from Dodger Stadium:
Manny Ramirez, who has missed the last 33 games for the Dodgers, has been activated from the disabled list, and is in tonight’s starting lineup, batting third and playing left field.
Ramirez, who has suffered setbacks in his right calf throughout his DL stint, is going to play often, though not everyday according to manager Joe Torre. “I don’t mind playing him back to back,” Torre said of Ramirez, who will rest Sunday’s day game after a night game, “If he can play, he’ll stay out there.”
To make room for Ramirez, the Dodgers designated infielder Juan Castro for assignment. Castro is expected to clear waivers and is likely to return on September 1 when active roster limits expand from 25 to 40.
(Sports Network) - Johnny Cueto has been firing on all cylinders on the mound for most of this season. He showed the wrong kind of fire last time he pitched.
Set to return from a seven-game suspension stemming from a benches-clearing brawl, Cueto will try to extend the Cincinnati Reds' longest winning streak of the season tonight in the continuation of a three-game set versus the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chavez Ravine.
Cueto is set to take the hill for the first time since Aug. 10, when he yielded five runs -- four earned -- over 5 1/3 innings in a loss versus the Cardinals. More notable was his role in a first-inning incident in which Cueto found himself pinned against the backstop during a heated exchange between the teams.
The 24-year-old began kicking at the pile and connected one blow to the head of St. Louis catcher Jason LaRue, who is currently on the 60-day disabled list due to a concussion stemming from the hit.
"I was trying to go in and trying to break people off," Cueto told the Reds' website with catcher Ramon Hernandez interpreting. "As soon as I knew it, I had like 20 people pushing me all over to the net. I already had my back to the net with my feet up. When you see more than 15 people going over you, you definitely are going to get scared. I did get nervous."
Cueto was given a seven-game ban for "his violent and aggressive actions during the incident" and did not appeal.
The right-hander suffered his first loss since June 18 and fell to 11-3 with a 3.38 earned run average. In two career starts against the Dodgers, he is 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA.
He'll be looking to extend the Reds' seven-game winning streak after the club notched a 3-1 triumph in last night's opener, Cincinnati's first win in Los Angeles since July 28, 2005.
"Homer was strong. He was throwing as hard at the end as he was in the beginning," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We scratched and clawed, and three runs were enough."
The victory, the Reds' eighth in a row on the road, widened their lead to 4 1/2 games over the Cardinals for first place in the National League Central. Cincinnati also moved its record (71-51) to 20 games above .500 for the first time since ending the 1999 season at 96-67.
Carlos Monasterios was charged with eight hits and three runs -- one earned -- over 4 1/3 innings for the Dodgers, who have lost seven of their last 10 contests and are now eight games back in the NL Wild Card race.
Ryan Theriot plated his team's only run with a bunt base-hit in the third.
"We have to find a way to generate some offense," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said after Ryan Theriot plated his team's only run with a bunt base-hit in the third inning. "We have to get some base hits. Monasterios got into a slow rhythm and he was unsure of himself."
That spark might come in the form of Manny Ramirez, who could be activated from the 15-day disabled list. The outfielder has been since July 16 due to a right calf strain, but played six innings on Friday with Class-A Inland Empire.
His return would be welcomed by Chad Billingsley, who is 0-2 over his last four starts despite a 2.10 ERA. He threw seven innings of one-run ball versus the Braves on Monday, fanning eight in a no-decision.
The righty is 9-7 with a 3.66 ERA this year and lost to the Reds on April 20. Billingsley, 26, lasted just three innings and allowed seven runs -- six earned -- on seven hits, falling to 3-2 with a 3.21 ERA lifetime versus the Reds.
These two clubs split six games in Cincinnati prior to this series.