Ramirez passes Mantle with 537th homer

Manny Ramirez moved past Mickey Mantle into 15th place with career home run No. 537 and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-5 on Monday night.

Manny Ramirez is rocketing up the all-time home run list quicker than one of his clouts leaves the ballpark.

Ramirez, 37, moved past Mickey Mantle into 15th place with career homer No. 537 and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Cincinnati Reds 7-5 on Monday night.

Mantle is the ninth Hall of Famer that Ramirez has passed since the start of last season.

The others — Lou Gehrig, Eddie Murray, Mel Ott, Eddie Mathews, Ernie Banks, Ted Williams, Willie McCovey and Jimmie Foxx.

"To be honest, I haven't been keeping track of who I have passed or where I'm at," Ramirez said. "I just wait for you guys [reporters] to tell me.

Ramirez ripped an 0-2 offering from Reds starter and losing pitcher Micah Owings into the left-field seats to put Los Angeles ahead 6-3 in the second inning.

It marked Ramirez's 400th homer off a right-handed pitcher.

The crowd of 48,110 on hand at Dodger Stadium chanted "Manny, Manny," hoping for a curtain call that never came.

"It is awesome," Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said. "It was just amazing sitting there watching that.

"It is a huge accomplishment for any ballplayer. It is a real milestone.

"You saw him hit that ball tonight. The man can hit a baseball, there is no question about it."

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The Mick

Mickey Mantle (1931-1995) hit 536 home runs, including a remarkable 565-footer in 1956 — the season he won the Triple Crown. A switch-hitter with tremendous power, Mantle hit 372 homers batting left-handed and 164 batting right-handed, and holds the record for homers in a season by a switch-hitter with 54. He retired as a player in 1968 at the age of 36.

'I just go and play'

Ramirez has homered four times in 14 games since serving a 50-game suspension for using a female fertility drug known as human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG. 

The dreadlocked slugger has homered off 351 pitchers; Mantle, a switch-hitter, hit 536 homers off 244 pitchers.

"I just go and play and don't worry about the numbers," Ramirez said. "Maybe I will when I look back later on and see what I accomplished, but now I'm going to take it day by day and see if we can go to the next step."

Next is Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt at 548 homers.

Ramirez is hitting .338 with 10 homers, 31 runs batted in and 31 runs scored in 41 games this season, his second with Los Angeles.

The 12-time all-star is a lifetime .315 hitter with 537 HRs, 1,756 RBIs and 1,475 runs in 2,144 games over 17 MLB seasons with the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox and Dodgers.

With files from The Associated Press