Hanley Ramirez led an offensive explosion by the Dodgers on Saturday in their 12-2 win over the Pirates at Dodger Stadium, snapping a three-game losing streak that saw the club score only six total runs during that span.
Ramirez on Friday doubled in the sixth and had an RBI single in the eighth, the latter the Dodgers' only run-scoring hit with runners in scoring position all game. It was the first multi-hit in nearly three weeks.
"Hanley has been up and down all year. He'll look good for a few games. He's kind of like us as a team. He hasn't been able to sustain a run, like we haven't been able to sustain a run," manager Don Mattingly said after Friday's game. "Last year we saw as much as anything, as Hanley goes – although Yasiel was a big part of that, too – we kind of go too"
Ramirez collected run-scoring hits in the first and third innings, then homered in both the fourth and sixth innings. He was 4-for-4 on the day and tied career highs with four runs scored and five runs batted in, and he only played six innings, removed with a 10-run lead.
Ramirez has hits in six consecutive at-bats, improving his seasonal line from .242/.321/.429 to .265/.339/.480 in a matter of 10 innings.
"This game is so stupid sometimes. You swing the bats you get eight or seven, hitting the ball all over the place, next thing you know you're having trouble putting runs on the board. But it's the flow of the game," Mattingly said, way back on April 18. "You'd like your guys to be robots and hit every time up and get hits when we need them, but it doesn't work that way."
Ror a while on Saturday, it nearly did work that way for the Dodgers. One night after going 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position in a one-run loss, the Dodgers started Saturday 6-for-7 with runners in scoring position for a 6-0 lead through three innings.
They tacked on five more runs in the fourth inning, an inning that featured two triples and neither hitter - Dee Gordon nor Drew Butera - scored. Such a thing might have been maddening in recent days for the Dodgers, but they were able to wash it off with their 12-run outburst.
Matt Kemp broke out of his 0-for-20 slump with two hits and two RBI.
Adrian Gonzalez was 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and two runs scored.
Justin Turner was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI and finished May hitting .300/.348/.483 for the month.
All that offense was more than enough support for Hyun-Jin Ryu, who allowed two runs in six innings for his sixth win of the season. Ryu struck out four and walked none.
Jamey Wright was called upon to protect a 10-run lead and in retiring nine of his 10 batters faced earned the first save of three innings or more by a Dodger since Ramon Troncoso, who protected a one-run lead with a four-inning save at Coors Field on April 25, 2009. It is the first Dodger three-inning save with a lead that big since Matt Herges on Sept. 10, 2000.
The Dodgers try to salvage a split on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, with Zack Greinke on the hill. Old friend Edinson Volquez starts the series finale for Pittsburgh.
Home runs: Hanley Ramirez 2 (9)
WP - Hyun-jin Ryu (6-2): 6 IP, 10 hits, 2 runs, 4 strikeouts
LP - Brandon Cumpton (0-2): 3⅔ IP, 11 hits, 11 runs (10 earned), 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
Sv - Jamey Wright (1): 3 IP, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts