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Manny gets pinch-hit grand slam

MANNY Ramirez hit a tie-breaking, pinch-hit grand slam on Wednesday to send the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-2 victory over Cincinnati, their 12th consecutive at home against the Reds.

Ramirez was kept out of the starting lineup for precautionary reasons with a sore left hand after being hit by a pitch a night earlier.

"It was real sore," Ramirez said before the game. "I was worried, but thank God the X-ray came up negative."

He entered the sold-out game at Dodger Stadium in the sixth inning with the score tied at 2. Fans chanted "Manny! Manny!" as they saw him in the Dodgers dugout putting on his batting helmet.

Ramirez sent the first pitch from reliever Nick Masset into the "Mannywood" section of lower left field seats for his 21st career grand slam, giving Los Angeles a 6-2 lead and putting the crowd into a frenzy.

It was his 11th homer of the season and his first career pinch-hit homer.

It was Ramirez's first homer into the "Mannywood" section, which was resurrected after his 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug rules ended on July 3.

Ramirez pinch-hit for Chad Billingsley (9-6), who allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings, struck out seven and walked one.

Elsewhere in the National League, it was: Pirates 8, Brewers 7; Cubs 10, Phillies 5; Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 3; Marlins 5, Padres 0; Nationals 3, Mets 1; Braves 4, Giants 2; and Astros 4, Cardinals 3

In the American League, it was: Mariners 2, Tigers 1; Yankees 6, Orioles 4; Athletics 16, Twins 1; Blue Jays 10, Indians 6; Rangers 3, Red Sox 1; Angels 9, Royals 6; and White Sox 4, Rays 3.

In Detroit, Felix Hernandez won his 11th game of the season and Russell Branyan hit a two-run homer to help Seattle beat the Tigers 2-1.

Branyan's homer in the eighth inning, his 24th of the season, was one of only two Seattle hits. Ryan Langerhans had the other - a single in the fifth.

"(Branyan) has struggled a bit of late," Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu told reporters. "But he came up big tonight."

The win over the Tigers, leaders of AL Central, was the Mariners' seventh in 10 games.

Struck out

Hernandez (11-3) struck out eight over seven innings of work and gave up Detroit's six hits and one run. "I had to battle a lot," Hernandez said. "They jumped on the fastball a little bit (in the first inning)."

Still the Tigers did not score a run in the inning, leaving the bases loaded when Josh Anderson flied to left for the third out.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Hernandez was "pretty stingy" after the first inning and praised Seattle's bullpen.

Detroit starter Armando Galarraga surrendered only one hit over seven-plus innings before making way for Bobby Seay (1-2), who yielded the home run to Branyan. Clete Thomas drove in Detroit's run with a third-inning single.


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