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Dodgers have a loss to forget, falling 8-4 to Cards and losing Manny Ramirez to leg injury

July 16, 2010 |  8:45 pm


There is the heartbreaking loss, the ugly loss, the laughable loss, and then there is what-the-heck-was-that loss.

A loss like the Dodgers’ fiasco Friday in St. Louis.

It was a tad otherworldly -- Dodgers on bases all over the place but runs somehow still hard to come by, their starting pitcher suffering a blowup for the second consecutive night, and their highest-paid player again limping off into the unknown.

This is no way to start the second half. But it is how the Dodgers have gotten underway.

A warm night in St. Louis got off to the wrong kind of start when Manny Ramirez re-injured his right leg in the top of the first inning. He never did take the field, and his departure was bookended by the wrong kind of final score, an 8-4 Cardinals victory.

Manny was playing only his second game since coming off the disabled list, where a sore right hamstring had landed him. He also spent an earlier stint on the DL because of a strained right calf.

The Dodgers have initially called his latest leg problem right calf tightness, and for now are listing him day-to-day. Reed Johnson is on the DL because of a sore back, so if Ramirez has to return to the disabled list the Dodgers are in trouble. The only potential replacement outfielder on their 40-man roster is Trayvon Johnson, who is hitting well (.296, eight home runs, 37 RBIs) -- at double-A Chattanooga.

Injuries can’t explain the horrendous start to the second half by the Dodgers’ starting pitchers.

One night after Clayton Kershaw gave up four runs and eight hits in only 4 1/3 innings, Chad Billingsley one-upped him  in the ugliness department -- seven runs and 10 hits in four innings.

In the Dodgers’ first two games of the second half, Kershaw and Billingsley -- their two young, budding pitching stars -- have a combined 11.88 ERA, with 18 hits in 8 1/3 innings.

St. Louis rookie Jaime Garcia  wasn’t a whole lot better (two runs, eight hits in 3 1/3 innings), but with the Dodgers leaving 12 men on base and the Cards using Billingsley for batting practice, it made for an easy enough victory for the home team.

Five Cardinals relievers held L.A. in check and the Dodgers fell to 4-19 in St. Louis since 2004.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols congratulates catcher Yadier Molina after he hit a two-run home run against the Dodgers on Friday night. Credit: Jeff Roberson / Associated Press