Atlanta, GA – Hanley Ramirez is enjoying his trip back to the East Coast.
Ramirez hit a pair of homers, including one when the Dodgers smacked back-to- back-to-back long balls in the second inning, and Los Angeles downed the Atlanta Braves, 6-2, in the sixth annual Civil Rights Game.
Ramirez drove in four runs in his fifth consecutive multi-hit game. He is batting .447 (17-for-38) with three homers and 14 RBI through the first nine games of Los Angeles' road trip, which concludes Sunday in the finale of this three-game set.
"I've been seeing the ball better and swinging at strikes, so that's the key," Ramirez said of his hot road trip.
Ramirez, James Loney and Luis Cruz cracked three straight round-trippers in the span of four pitches in the second frame for the Dodgers, who last went back-to-back-to-back on June 12, 2007 against the New York Mets when Wilson Betemit, Matt Kemp and Hong-Chih Kuo accomplished the feat against John Maine in the second inning of a 4-1 win.
"Back-to-back-to-back, it's great to be a part of it," Ramirez said. "At the end of the day, we're just looking for that W and we got it."
Prior to the contest, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount for an argument with umpires Thursday in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Kemp had been thrown out from the dugout, prompting Mattingly to engage in a lengthy argument with the entire umpiring crew. Both Kemp and Mattingly had to be restrained by teammates at different points in the tirade.
Former Royals manager and current Dodgers bench coach Trey Hillman will take over the managerial duties in Mattingly's absence.
Aaron Harang (9-7) fanned eight and was charged with a run on four hits and five walks in 6 2/3 innings. It's the first time he's won back-to-back starts since June 2 and 7.
Kenley Jansen picked up the final four outs to notch his 25th save of the year.
Ben Sheets (4-3) surrendered all six runs on four homers in six innings for Atlanta, which had their four-game winning streak snapped. The 34-year-old didn't allow a long ball in his first 27 2/3 innings with the Braves, but has given up six round-trippers over his past 15 1/3 frames.
After Martin Prado lined an RBI double in the opening frame to give the Braves a quick 1-0 lead, the Dodgers countered as Ramirez belted a blast to center field, Loney ripped a bomb to right field and Cruz cracked a four-bagger to left field for a 3-1 Los Angeles edge.
The Dodgers extended their advantage following a three-run sixth. After a pair of two-out walks to Kemp and Andre Ethier, Ramirez laced a three-run shot into the seats in left field, which gave the Dodgers a 6-1 margin.
"It was a weird game, we all thought we were going to win that game and that three-run homer kind of hurt us a little bit," Braves catcher David Ross said.
Prado hit a solo shot in the ninth to conclude the scoring.
It was Ramirez's 13th career multi-homer game and second this season ... Michael Bourn hit his 10th triple of the year, the most in a season for Atlanta since Rafael Furcal had 11 in 2005 ... Atlanta was 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11.