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Sunday, June 28, 2009
Manny plays for Single A again

Associated Press

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- Manny Ramirez's minor league rehab tour continued Sunday without a word from the suspended slugger.

Ramirez didn't produce any hits, either, a day after hitting a leadoff homer for the Dodgers' Class A Inland Empire 66ers.

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Sunday was the fourth minor-league rehab game for Ramirez, who is scheduled to return from his 50-game ban for violation baseball's drug policy and rejoin the Dodgers on Friday.

Ramirez was greeted warmly by fans, some of whom wore his No. 99 jerseys and blue bandanas with long dreadlocks. Both were available at stadium concessions for $25 apiece.

Cheers greeted each of his three hitless plate appearances, with only a touch of boos.

He had a security escort when he left the field and headed into the clubhouse, ignoring a request to stop and speak to reporters.

Ramirez hasn't given an interview since Major League Baseball confirmed it was cooperating with a federal investigation into where Ramirez got the drug that resulted in his 50-game suspension.

Sixers manager Carlos Subero said Ramirez told him he wanted to play at least seven innings. He ended up leaving after the top of the sixth. He started in left field and led off Sunday.

"He wants to do the full thing so he can be ready," Subero said.

Ramirez walked in his first plate appearance and was caught looking at a third strike from left-hander Alexander Torres in his next two trips to the plate. Ramirez stranded runners at second and third in with his second strikeout.

In the field, Ramirez did not have to make a play until he caught a fly hit directly to him in the fourth. It was his only catch of the day.

The media following Ramirez was fairly modest in numbers, though Subero said his 6-year-old son, Carlos, was stunned to see Ramirez in a 66ers uniform.

"He said, 'Is this the Manny I play on PlayStation?'" Subero said. "He was so excited."

Ramirez left while the 66ers batted in the bottom of the sixth, and was escorted by security to a white SUV and left without speaking to reporters.