Manny, Kemp lead Dodgers' blowout
Tempers heat up after Mota tossed for hitting Fielder
LOS ANGELES -- Manny Ramirez broke out of a 10-game hitting slump. Matt Kemp knocked in five runs for the fourth time this season. And the Dodgers went on to rout the Brewers, 17-4, on Tuesday, their highest-scoring game at home since scoring 17 on May 25, 1979.
But a Guillermo Mota fastball that hit Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder with two outs in the top of the ninth overshadowed the rout.
After the game, a furious Fielder attempted to storm through security into the Dodgers' clubhouse, presumably to confront Mota about the pitch that hit him in the thigh and caused Mota to be ejected from the game.
Fielder, who was shouting expletives at the time, was deterred by a number of his teammates and Dodgers security officials and was escorted back to his locker room.
After the situation was resolved and the clubhouse opened, Dodgers manager Joe Torre would not go into details about what transpired.
"I can't comment on that," Torre said. "I can't comment on that. The game was the game and that was part of the game. I have no comment.
" ... We play the game and things happen in the game and you move on. That's part of baseball."
Kemp and Andre Ethier also didn't comment on the incident, but catcher Russell Martin said it's nice to see a pitcher stand up for Dodgers hitters. Manny Ramirez and Juan Pierre were hit in the game.
"We don't want the same scenario that happened last year in the playoffs where the Phillies kind of tried to intimidate us by throwing at Manny and we really didn't retaliate," Martin said. "We don't want to be considered as a team that doesn't have our players' backs."
Before Mota's pitch, the dominant story lines of the game were Ramirez's return to form and the Dodgers' potent offense.
Ramirez broke out of his recent hitting slump with two big swings.
In the bottom of the fifth, with the Dodgers clinging to a 4-3 lead, Ramirez crushed a 2-2 curveball over the left-field fence for a solo home run.
An inning later, Ramirez struck again and drove a stake through the Brewers' hopes for a rally. He smacked a two-run double with the bases loaded to break the game open, 9-3. The Dodgers wound up scoring seven runs in the sixth inning.
Before those two at-bats, Ramirez was 0-for-2 with two flyouts, adding to a 7-for-44 (.159) slump.
"Manny was struggling and hopefully he broke out of it tonight," Torre said. "He's important for us. Not only what he does for his bat, but what he does for people around him."
And everyone around Ramirez clicked Tuesday.
A day after struggling mightily against Brewers starter Manny Parra, the Dodgers had little trouble getting to the pitcher Milwaukee sent to the mound Tuesday.
The Dodgers put up four runs on five hits in the first inning against starter Yovani Gallardo.
Rafael Furcal and Ethier led off the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles to begin the offensive onslaught.
After Ramirez flied out to right field for the inning's first out, Casey Blake smacked a double down the left-field line to score Furcal and Ethier, who was running on the play.
Blake's hit was the first of three RBI hits for the Dodgers in the first. Kemp hit an RBI single to center and Martin hammered a ball past Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun to drive in the fourth run.
Kemp went on to get three more hits and post five RBIs. And even though he's done it a few other times this season, it's not becoming old hat for Kemp.
"I don't think you ever get used to five RBIs," Kemp said. "It feels good to get five RBIs and help the team win."
At one point, Milwaukee seemed on the verge of making the game a tight contest.
The Brewers hit two straight singles to start the top of the fourth, and starter Hiroki Kuroda plunked Frank Catalanotto with one out to load the bases.
But Kuroda fought back and struck out Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy and got Jason Kendall to ground out to end the threat and the inning.
Those two outs didn't lead to further success, however, as Kuroda was unable to wiggle out of a similar jam in the fifth.
This time, the Brewers -- including Gallardo, who hit a double -- tagged Kuroda for three runs on five hits.
But thanks to Ramirez's bat and the Dodgers' big sixth inning, Kuroda's brief struggle was an afterthought in what was a much-needed blowout for the Dodgers.
"I just hope it loosens up the batters," Torre said. "We have a long stretch of games here, and you have to go through some bad ones.
"... Tomorrow, three's a chance we score three or four and you say, 'What happened to your team?' That's certainly not how this game works. Some nights just everything happens."
David Ely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.