By KATE HEDLIN
(AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers are hoping a change of scenery will help Hanley Ramirez turn a disappointing season around.
While the Dodgers came up short in his debut, it was a promising one for a club looking for an offensive spark.
Ramirez and the Dodgers will try to earn a split of their four-game road series with the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday.
Hours before Wednesday's game, Los Angeles announced it had acquired Ramirez and reliever Randy Choate from Miami in exchange for Nathan Eovaldi and minor leaguer Scott McGough.
Ramirez was the NL batting champion in 2009 and is a career .300 hitter, but he batted .243 in 2011 and was hitting .246 with 14 homers and 48 RBIs with the Marlins this year.
Despite his sub-par season thus far, Los Angeles (53-46) is counting on him to be another run producer alongside Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. The Dodgers rank 26th in the majors with 3.9 runs per game and 21st with a .247 average.
Ramirez had no trouble adjusting to his new team Wednesday, tripling in his first at-bat and finishing 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run. The Dodgers, though, lost 3-2 in 12 innings after Rafael Furcal singled home the winning run.
"I feel comfortable," said Ramirez. "Great group of guys here; you just go out there and have fun. I'm happy to be here."
The Dodgers, losers of nine of 15, remain 2 1/2 games behind NL West-leading San Francisco.
Wednesday's win was the fifth in six games for the Cardinals (52-46), who have compiled a 1.42 ERA during that stretch.
While Jake Westbrook (8-8, 3.60 ERA) looks to continue that trend in the finale, he may not have much room for error against Chris Capuano (10-5, 2.81).
Capuano gave up three runs in seven innings of an 8-5 win over the New York Mets on Saturday for his first victory in five starts. The left-hander is 1-3 in his last seven outings despite a 2.62 ERA during that span.
"Pretty much the same Cap. He just kind of keeps going," manager Don Mattingly said. "That's pretty much what we've been getting every time out."
Capuano is 5-5 with a 5.33 ERA against the Cardinals after facing them regularly while with Milwaukee. He is 0-3 with a 7.04 ERA in his last five appearances in St. Louis, where he hasn't won since 2005.
Furcal and Matt Holliday are a combined 16 for 45 (.355) with one homer apiece against him.
Westbrook is coming off a strong effort of his own, yielding three hits in seven innings of a 12-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. It was the fourth time in six starts he gave up two or fewer runs, allowing four in the other two.
The right-hander is 0-2 with a 6.48 ERA in three appearances against the Dodgers. After two relief outings in 2003, he allowed four runs - three earned - in 6 1-3 innings of a 6-0 loss May 19.
Ramirez is 3 for 11 with a home run against Westbrook.
Updated July 26, 2012