LOS ANGELES: It did not take long for Manny Ramirez to make an impression at Dodger Stadium.
The newly acquired right fielder hit a monster two-run home run to center field in the first inning, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday.
Ramirez was traded from Boston to the Dodgers on Thursday after a rocky seven-and-a-half year relationship with Red Sox management. The slugger with 511 career home runs has quickly warmed to playing in Los Angeles and in his first two games with his new team has four hits in eight at-bats.
"I'm still kind of nervous," Ramirez told reporters. "I have to get used to this crowd - they're so into me, and I like it. I'm blessed to be here."
Ramirez, who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, gave the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead and starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda cruised through a solid outing.
Kuroda threw 7 1/3 innings, allowing one run and striking out six.
The Diamondbacks scored one run in the ninth off reliever Kuo Hong-chih before Park Chan-ho came on to record the final out with a man on first.
"(Arizona) always seem to put together one inning, and you expect them to come back," said Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake, who was traded from the Indians last week.
"Good thing for our bullpen we got out of it."
Blake finished 2-for-4, with a solo home run in the second inning for Los Angeles (55-55), which closed the gap on NL West-leading Arizona (57-53).
Arizona starter Yusmeiro Petit pitched five innings, allowing three runs via the two home runs.