Ramirez returns, homers to send Dodgers over Texas

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 7, 2014 at 8:09 pm •  Published: March 7, 2014
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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Hanley Ramirez returned to the lineup and hit his first homer this spring, a two-run shot in the first inning that sent the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Texas Rangers 2-1 Friday.

Ramirez was pulled in the sixth inning Thursday as a precaution after he was hit by a pitch in his right triceps. The All-Star infielder, who hit .345 with 20 homers in 86 games last season, is batting .167 this spring.

Carl Crawford drew a walk from Martin Perez, and Ramirez homered to center field.

Ramirez's return from thumb and hamstring injuries on June 4 last season helped spark a 46-10 run that carried Los Angeles from last place to first in the NL West.

"I think Hanley is getting his timing," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He's not one of those guys I worry about."

Despite the home run, Perez was mostly happy with his three innings of work in his second spring start. He gave up two hits, walked three and struck out two.

"I feel pretty good," said the 22-year-old Perez, who broke his forearm last spring but came back to go 10-6 with a 3.62 ERA. "I still need to attack more with my fastball. My other pitches are good. The only thing I have to work on is my fastball. A couple of hitters, I was behind in the count."

Los Angeles starter Zach Lee worked two innings, giving up two hits.

STARTING TIME

Rangers: Perez could be a key to the rotation, especially with Derek Holland likely sidelined with a knee injury until midseason and Matt Harrison expected to open the season on the disabled list after undergoing back surgery last year.

Dodgers: Making his first spring start, Lee faced a major league lineup from top to bottom.

"It's always good to face a whole lineup of big league guys," he said.

The organization's minor league pitcher of the year last season is experiencing his first major league camp.

"It's kind of been shock and awe, really," said Lee, who was headed to LSU as a quarterback before he signed with the Dodgers in 2010 for $5.25 million. "I've been trying to be respectful, while also getting as much knowledge as possible."



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