Manny's Bat, Billingsley's Arm Carry Dodgers to Victory

Through the first five innings of the Dodgers' 5-2 victory over the Padres, it was nothing but smooth sailing for starting pitcher Chad Billingsley. He had allowed just two hits on 65 pitches, and with a 2-0 lead at the time, seemed to be in complete control of the game. But things turned in the fifth, and L.A. needed (and got) some timely offense from Manny Ramirez in the seventh to come away with their second win in three tries over the Padres in this young season.

Manny recorded an RBI in the first on a ground out that scored Rafael Furcal, and Casey Blake hit a solo homer in the second to give the Dodgers that two run lead. All was fine until the fifth inning, when the Padres finally broke through to tie the game at two apiece, but things could have been much worse for L.A.

Billingsley lost his ability to locate the strike zone, and walked the first three batters in the inning to load the bases with nobody out. But the Padres failed to take advantage, and after scoring the second of their two runs in the inning on a sacrifice fly, had one of their base runners doubled up while attempting to take second base.

The Dodgers reasserted themselves in the seventh, but only after a bit of confusion on the part of the Padres' pitching staff. During a visit to the mound from San Diego's manager Bud Black. With two men on and one out, as Manny Ramirez prepared to take the plate, Padres' reliever Cha Meredith made his way in from the bullpen. The only problem? He wasn't requested, and Black waved him back after the pitcher had gotten almost all the way to the mound.

Black probably regrets that decision.

Manny delivered with a two-run double to right, which gave the Dodgers all the runs they would need to come away with the win. After Andre Ethier was intentionally walked, then Meredith was brought in for relief duty. It was a little late at that point, no?

L.A.'s relief pitching was once again sufficient, as the combination of Cory Wade, Hong-Chi Kuo, and Jonathan Broxton combined to allow no runs and just one hit over the final three innings.

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