Dodgers start strong, take series from Mets
Randy Wolf was looking for a lucky number. All he really needed was Manny Ramirez's bat.
Ramirez hit two RBI singles to key an early outburst against struggling starter Livan Hernandez, and Wolf pitched the Los Angeles Dodgers past the New York Mets 11-2 on Thursday night for his first win in eight outings.
Hoping to change his fortunes and avoid yet another no-decision, Wolf (4-3) switched Wednesday from jersey number 21 to 43 - the digits he used to wear with Philadelphia. One night later, he received a sudden surge of run support from Ramirez & Co.
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"There's not a baseball player that's not superstitious," Wolf said. "And if they tell you they're not, they're lying."
Dropped to seventh in the batting order, slumping All-Star Orlando Hudson responded with a three-run double that capped a four-run first inning. Leadoff man Rafael Furcal had three hits and scored three times, and the Dodgers cruised to an easy victory that boosted baseball's best record to 54-31.
Los Angeles took two of three in its first trip to Citi Field and won the season series 5-1 against the injury-ravaged Mets, who have lost five of six and 10 of 13.
"When you fall behind that big that early, it's a tough hole," Mets third baseman David Wright said. "We've got a room full of guys who have been in tough times before. We have to turn this thing around and we are confident we can do it."
The only downer for the Dodgers: Hudson came out in the seventh after being hit above the left knee by Brian Stokes' pitch. But the second baseman said he was fine and expects to play Friday night in Milwaukee.
Russell Martin added a two-run single and Ramirez had a perfect night at the plate, going 2 for 2 with two walks before taking a seat in the seventh. He is 6 for 18 (.333) with two homers and seven RBIs in six games since returning from a 50-game drug suspension.
"I'm getting there. I haven't played in two months. Got to go baby steps," Ramirez said.
The Dodgers, who had 17 hits, drew 25 walks in the series.