NL News: Dodgers Extend Streak, Rick Ankiel Carted Off

The Dodgers became the first National League team since 1900 to win their first 11 home games, overcoming an Arizona triple play to beat the Diamondbacks with a homer and three RBIs from Manny Ramirez. The defending NL West champions broke the previous league record for longest home winning streak to start a season, set by the 1918 New York Giants and equaled by the 1970 Chicago Cubs and 1983 Atlanta Braves — who were managed by current Dodgers skipper Joe Torre. The major league mark is 12, set in 1911 by the Detroit Tigers.

Ryan Howard hit his seventh career grand slam, tying Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt for the Phillies record, in a victory over the Cardinals that included a frightening injury to Rick Ankiel. The Cardinals’ outfielder crashed headfirst into the fence after chasing down a line drive to the gap in the eighth inning. He was carted off the field strapped to a gurney and wearing a neck brace. X-rays and a CT scan of Ankiel’s head, neck and back were all negative and showed no fractures, team spokesman Brian Bartow said. Ankiel, who flashed a thumbs-up sign as he was taken off the field strapped to a gurney and wearing a neck brace, was hospitalized overnight for observation. It looks like Ankiel will thankfully be okay, but if you caught the video of the crash, you’d swear that divine intervention was at play.

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