AFP, NEW YORK
Disgraced baseball player Manny Ramirez endured jeers and catcalls from New York Mets fans before being ejected in the fifth inning for throwing a piece of his equipment toward home plate.
The Dodgers outfielder joked about his 50-game suspension in his first game in southern California, but his demeanor was vastly different during Tuesday’s game in front of a hostile crowd at Citi Field.
He was booed for 20 seconds prior to his opening at bat and then threw a hissy fit after striking out with the bases loaded in the fifth inning, which led to his ejection. One fan held up a cardboard sign with a drawing of a syringe.
But it wasn’t enough to spoil the Dodgers’ 8-0 win as Ramirez also had a pair of hits.
“That booing is something he is used to,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.
Ramirez is the first marquee player to be suspended under Major League Baseball’s stepped-up drug policy. He was slapped with a 50-game ban on May 7 after testing positive for a common masking drug for steroids.
Umpire John Hirschbeck sent Ramirez to the showers in the fifth inning after he flung an elbow pad over his right shoulder in the direction of Hirschbeck.
The 12-time all-star Ramirez didn’t like the called third strike.
“I just threw my pad when I was walking to field and he saw my pad close to him and threw me out,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez struck out in his first at bat, arguing that third strike call, which brought more hooting from the stands. In his next plate appearance Ramirez smiled at Hirschbeck and spread his hands about a foot apart in an apparent attempt to show the umpire how much he missed the last call by.
After Ramirez was ejected Torre came on to the field to argue with Hirschbeck.
Last week, Ramirez downplayed his 50-game suspension, jokingly calling it a “criminal record.”
Ramirez gave a half-hearted apology prior his first game back from the ban, saying he was sorry — not for the failed drug test — but to the fans for not being able to perform in front of them.
The Dodgers went 29-21 without Ramirez, who was hitting .348 with six homers and 20 RBI prior to his suspension on May 7.
In other NL games, it was:
• Cardinals 5, Brewers 0
• Reds 4, Phillies 3
• Giants 3, Marlins 0
• Diamondbacks 4, Padres 3
• Rockies 5, Nationals 4
• Braves 2, Cubs 1
• Pirates 6, Astros 3
AP, ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA
The Texas Rangers moved back into a tie with Los Angeles for leadership of the American League West division with an 8-5 win over the Angels on Tuesday.
Andruw Jones hit a three-run homer to key Texas’ decisive six‑run fifth inning. The homer, a score on a wild pitch, and a two-run single all came with two outs in the fifth as the Rangers overhauled Los Angeles’ 3-0 lead.
Los Angeles pitcher John Lackey gave up six runs in 4 2-3 innings.
YANKEES 10, TWINS 2
In Minneapolis, pitcher C.C. Sabathia allowed just one run in seven innings, steering New York past Minnesota.
The bottom third of the Yankees batting order combined for seven hits and six RBIs.
Twins pitcher Scott Baker was 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his only two previous starts against the Yankees, but gave up five runs in three innings, his shortest outing of the season.
RAYS 3, BLUE JAYS 1, 11 INNINGS
In St Petersburg, Florida, Pat Burrell hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning to give Tampa Bay victory over Toronto.