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Dodgers lose 10-5 to fall 6 1/2 back in wild-card race; Manny Ramirez pinch hits but ejected after one pitch

August 29, 2010 |  3:49 pm

Dodgers1_300 To those burning Dodgers’ questions of the moment -- Will Manny Ramirez stay or will he go? Will he play or will he sit? -- now they can add a new one:

Can he stay in the game?

Ramirez, inexplicably benched for the fourth consecutive game Sunday, pinch-hit in the sixth inning, took one pitch called a strike, complained and was quickly ejected.

And that was your Manny Ramirez for the day.

Somehow symbolic for the Dodgers’ ultimately futile effort in a disheartening 10-5 loss to the Rockies.

After wining four consecutive games to give belated life to their playoff hopes, the Dodgers have now lost consecutive games and fallen 6½ back of the Phillies in the National League wild-card race.

The Dodgers open a key three-game series at Dodger Stadium against the Phillies on Monday.

The Dodgers could do precious little with Colorado right-hander Jason Hammel, who had boasted a 6.31 earned-run average in his last 12 starts.

Meanwhile, left-hander Ted Lilly ran out of Dodgers’ pixie dust.

Lilly was 5-0 in five starts with the Dodgers, but lasted only four innings Sunday.

He gave up seven runs on nine hits -- including two doubles, two triples and two home runs. He walked only one, however, and struck out eight.

All while the Dodgers were specializing on missing out on scoring chances.

In the fourth inning, they had runners on the corners with no outs and failed to score.

After scoring one run in the fifth on Jay Gibbons’ double, they loaded the bases with no outs but Andre Ethier failed to put the ball in play with one of his four strikeouts on the day.

And then in the sixth, after scoring once on doubles by Matt Kemp and James Loney, they loaded the bases with one out and called on Ramirez.

It was what you might call a quick at-bat. He took a first pitch that appeared outside that home-plate umpire Gary Cederstrom called a strike.

Manny, who almost never argues balls and strikes, turned to Cederstrom, complained about the call and was immediately ejected.

Manny argued a bit more before walking off, his day down to one pitch. Worse, Reed Johnson then hit for Ramirez and grounded into a double play.

Colorado outfielder Carlos Gonzalez got a little more for his money, continuing to kill L.A. pitching. Gonzalez went three for four, including two home runs, scored twice and drove in three runs.

The Dodgers did score three times against the Colorado bullpen in the eighth, one on a Ronnie Belliard single and two on a Ryan Theriot hit. Either struck out again, and after a Kemp infield single loaded the bases, Loney grounded out.

They had won 10 consecutive series against the Rockies until dropping two of three over the weekend.

--Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers pinch-hitter Manny Ramirez has some final words for home-plate umpire Gary Cederstrom after getting ejected in the sixth inning Sunday. Credit: Andrew Carpenean / US Presswire