The Los Angeles Dodgers erupted for 12 runs on 14 hits in their win over the Pittsburgh Pirates Saturday. Five Dodgers had at least one RBI, with four of them collecting two or more, including Hanley Ramirez who tied his career-high with five.
Ramirez, widely viewed as the engine that drives the Dodgers, finished the game 4-for-4 with two home runs and dating back to his final at-bats in Friday’s game, is in a mini hot streak, going 6-for-6.
The shortstop is now batting .265 on the season and his swings over the last two games have looked the best they have since he was struck on the hand by a pitch April 16. Ramirez has maintained his hand is healthy, but his lack of production suggested otherwise.
While his recent uptick in success may suggest Ramirez has found something in his swing, he states otherwise, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
Seriously, I don’t know what I’m doing at the plate,” Ramirez said. “I just see the ball, hit the ball. I’ve changed my stance a million times. I make adjustments to how they pitch me. … Whatever I find that day that makes my hands work.”
As for the possibility Ramirez may be pressing due to being in a contract year, he also dismissed that notion:
I can live on what I got in the bank right now,” Ramirez said jokingly, denying that it has bothered him. “No. When things go bad, things go bad. When they go good, they go good. It’s nothing you can control.”
The Dodgers went .500 in May, bounced between second and third in the NL West standings and now head into June, which was headlined last season by Yasiel Puig’s arrival when the team was struggling.
There doesn’t appear to be a similar move to be made this year for the Dodgers, which means barring a trade, it’s up to the current roster to pull themselves out of the rut they’ve been stuck in for much of the season.
With Saturday’s win, the Dodgers avoided what would have been a season-high four-game losing streak and they picked up a full game in their chase of the San Francisco Giants, who sit atop the NL West and all of MLB with a 36-20 record.
Ramirez’s improvement at the plate will be tested Sunday when faces Pirates starter Edinson Volquez, who he’s a career .158 hitter in 19 at-bats.
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