The enigmatic veteran’s waiver status remains unclear as the Dodgers attempt to complete a three-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday afternoon.
Los Angeles (65-62) entered this series with a 3-14 record away from home in the second half, a big reason the club is 12 games behind NL West-leading San Diego and 5 1/2 back of Philadelphia and San Francisco for the wild card.
This week, though, the Dodgers have come from behind in a pair of tightly-contested victories at Milwaukee (59-67). Ramirez drove in Los Angeles’ final run in Wednesday’s 5-4 victory, going 2 for 2 with two doubles and two walks amid reports that he had been placed on waivers.
“Any time Manny’s in the lineup, you know the other team’s thinking about that’s one of the guys they don’t want to beat them,” teammate James Loney(notes) said. “He definitely (is) a force in the lineup.”
Facing an uphill battle for a third straight playoff berth, Los Angeles may attempt to jettison the 38-year-old Ramirez, who refused to comment on rumors that he may be claimed by the Chicago White Sox.
Dodgers manager Joe Torre wasn’t any more eager to discuss the matter.
“Waivers are something that are supposed to be something very confidential and I’m certainly not privy to it,” Torre said. “It’s something that’s not supposed to be talked about.”
Ramirez may want to stick around for Thursday’s game considering he’s 3 for 5 with a home run and a double against Milwaukee ace Yovani Gallardo(notes), who hopes to bounce back from a string of difficult starts.
Gallardo (11-5, 3.28 ERA) has a 7.20 ERA in his last five outings overall, and he hasn’t been any better against the Dodgers, posting a 12.19 ERA while losing two previous starts against Los Angeles - both last year.
The right-hander lasted 3 1-3 innings against the Padres on Friday, allowing six runs and six hits - including two homers - while walking five in the Brewers’ 10-6 win.
The Dodgers counter with rookie Carlos Monasterios(notes) (3-4, 3.63), who continues to fill in for the injured Vicente Padilla(notes). The right-hander returned to the rotation Friday against Cincinnati, allowing three runs - one earned - and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings of a 3-1 defeat.
Monasterios hasn’t won since June 7 against St. Louis, going 0-4 with a 6.43 ERA in his last five starts, but Torre is hopeful the Dodgers can begin building a winning streak.
“I thought we had a lot of spirit, played well and hopefully we can build on this,” Torre said Wednesday. “My goal for this team right now is to get ourselves five or six in a row under our belts so that we know when we go to the ballpark, we expect to win.”