Zack Greinke pitched three-hit ball into the eighth inning, while Hanley Ramirez homered to lead the streaking Los Angeles Dodgers to a 4-0 victory over new manager Ryne Sandberg and the slumping Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.
The defeat capped a tumultuous and emotional day for Philadelphia. Charlie Manuel, the winningest manager in club history, was fired earlier in the day by general manager Ruben Amaro Jr, who broke down when delivering the news.
Amaro said it was a difficult move, but one the club “needed to make as we look towards the future.”
The 69-year-old Manuel led the Phillies to their second World Series championship in 2008. He was in charge of the National League team since 2005 and compiled a 780-636 record over his eight-plus years.
“I did not resign and I did not quit,” Manuel said, acknowledging that he was fired. “I think it was an understanding.”
Sandberg, the Hall of Famer and former Cubs second baseman, was promoted from third base coach to interim manager. However, the Phillies, who have lost 20 of 24, did not play any differently for Sandberg.
The Dodgers did not play any differently, either.
Ramirez’s two-run homer in the fourth was all the offense Greinke (11-3) needed to lead Los Angeles to their season-best ninth straight win and 18th victory in its last 19 road games. The Dodgers are 41-8 since June 22.
Greinke won his third straight start while outpitching Cliff Lee (10-6) in a matchup of former AL Cy Young Award winners.