Ramirez Leads Dodgers Past Padres

Manny Ramirez was already looking forward to the Los Angeles Dodgers' next game after collecting his first three RBIs of the season Wednesday night.

"What we did today means nothing tomorrow, and you've got to move on," he said following the Dodgers' 5-2 victory over the San Diego Padres. "What's done is done."

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Ramirez helped finish San Diego, driving in a run with a first-inning groundout and hitting a tiebreaking two-run double in the seventh.

Chad Billingsley worked six solid innings for Los Angeles and three relievers combined to finish the three-hitter. Jonathan Broxton struck out two during a scoreless ninth, earning his second save.

Ramirez's big hit in the seventh came after an unusual mix-up with the Padres. Cla Meredith thought he had been summoned from the bullpen to face the dreadlocked slugger after Edward Mujica (0-1) had given up back-to-back singles to Rafael Furcal and Orlando Hudson with one out.

Meredith got close to second base before manager Bud Black, who had come out to the mound to talk to Mujica, waved him back to the bullpen.

"When I went to the mound, I might have motioned to the infielders, who came in," Black said. "I think Cla (Meredith) saw that and thought that was the sign for him. He was on call, but at that point, I decided to leave Edward in. He was throwing the ball well and had given up those two light hits. And he hadn't given up a run."

Meredith surrendered a home run to Ramirez the only time he faced him last season.

Mujica threw a called strike past the Los Angeles star, who drove the next pitch into right-center to put Los Angeles ahead 4-2. James Loney tacked on an RBI single off Meredith later in the inning.

"Manny hit that ball hard," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "We needed that. We had the lead and an opportunity to score a run or two after that and couldn't do it. Chad got wild in that fifth inning. You look up there and see they only had two or three hits, so we felt like we needed to win this game. That was an important base hit for us, and James's following it, too."

Casey Blake hit a solo homer in the second inning for Los Angeles.

San Diego's Walter Silva pitched five effective innings in his major league debut. The 32-year-old right-hander allowed two runs and five hits, walked four and struck out one.

Billingsley (1-0) entered the fifth seemingly in control with a 2-0 lead. He had allowed just two singles and thrown 65 pitches, 43 for strikes. He then experienced a bit of wildness, walking the first three batters he faced to load the bases with none out in the inning.

Jody Gerut drove in a run with a fielder's choice and David Eckstein had a sacrifice fly, but Gerut was doubled up 8-3-4 attempting to go to second on Eckstein's ball.

"Overall, I felt good," Billingsley said. "I settled in until the fifth where I couldn't seem to locate or find my rhythm. I was able to get out of it with limited damage, only two runs. That was huge, and it doesn't get much better than James cutting it off and getting them in a rundown. That was a huge play right there."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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