Hanley Ramirez hit the first pitch he saw as a Dodger for a sky-high triple to the center-field wall. He scored to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead, then later rallied the team to a 2-2 tie with an RBI single in the sixth inning.
Even when he mangled a ball defensively, all was okay. A ninth-inning grounder richocheted off his chest to shortstop Luis Cruz, who threw to first base to end the inning.
Ramirez went 2 for 4 with a walk in his Dodger debut, but he could not prevent Los Angeles from dropping its second in a row in St. Louis, a 12-inning, 3-2 defeat.
The sixth Dodger pitcher, Jamey Wright, got into trouble by walking ailing pinch-hitter Lance Berkman with one out in the bottom of the 12th. Matt Carpenter singled pinch-running pitcher Joe Kelly to second base, and then Rafael Furcal, the guy that Ramirez is in some ways replacing, singled in the winning run – thanks in part to Tony Gwynn failing to come up with the the two-hop hit in left field for a chance to throw out Kelly.
Aaron Harang pitched well enough to win for the Dodgers – eight strikeouts, two runs, six baserunners in 7 1/3 innings – but he was long gone by the time the game ended.
The biggest key to the loss was arguably Matt Kemp, batting two spots ahead of Ramirez, going 0 for 5.
The one-run defeat matched the result of the Dodgers’ first game with Manny Ramirez, a 2-1 loss to Randy Johnson and Arizona on August 1, 2008.