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Dodgers win final game without Manny

Los Angeles pitchers combine to three-hit Colorado; Furcal provides spark

Posted: July 1, 2009 9:15 p.m.
Updated: July 2, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
LOS ANGELES — The countdown is over and not a moment too soon.

Despite a 1-0 win Wednesday afternoon over the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers remain in their longest offensive slumber of the season.

This on the heels of Manny Ramirez’s return to the lineup Friday in San Diego after serving a 50-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy.

Los Angeles plated the game’s only run in the bottom of the eighth inning when pinch hitter Rafael Furcal’s single to right field knocked in pinch runner Russell Martin.

Yet the Dodgers didn’t get a hit off Colorado starter Jason Hammel until the fifth inning when James Loney hit a double into the left-field corner.

The Dodgers managed only two hits against the Rockies in a 3-0 loss Tuesday night.

Their saving grace, despite some struggles with the strike zone from Wednesday starter Clayton Kershaw, was their pitching.

The Rockies only had three hits in the game.

“You’re going to hit those spells. That’s when your pitching picks you up and that’s what they’ve been doing for us and vice versa,” said Dodgers left fielder Juan Pierre. “I think the guys have been playing around here long enough to know that it’s just a stretch of the season that it’s hard to score runs, but fortunate enough, we’ve been winning games.”

The Dodgers avoided losing their third straight series by beating the Rockies two out of three.

As they start a new series with the Padres beginning Friday, the attention falls squarely onto Ramirez.

“We’re aware of the crowd Manny draws,” said Dodgers manager Joe Torre. “We’re prepared for it.”

Torre said he briefly spoke with Pierre, who will give way to Ramirez, about the situation Wednesday.

“We’ll try to keep him in shape by getting him in games here and there,” Torre said.

Pierre batted .318 for the Dodgers since Ramirez was suspended May 8 and is currently ninth in the National League with a .322 average overall.

He requested after the game that reporters not ask him any questions about the Ramirez situation.

Ramirez arrives as the Dodgers have scored eight runs in their last five games.

The Dodger pitching staff has surrendered just 14 runs in those games, though.

Kershaw was up in the strike zone throughout the game.

To illustrate his struggles, he walked Hammel twice.

He walked five batters in five innings, but surrendered just one hit and kept Colorado from scoring.

The Dodger bullpen of Ronald Belisario, Ramon Troncoso and Jonathan Broxton then shut the door on Colorado.

Broxton struck out two and retired the side in order in the ninth inning.

cosborne@the-signal.com

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