BILL DWYRE

Yasiel Puig's first act with Dodgers is a thriller

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He could easily be called the Havana Hammer, except that he is from Cienfuegos, about 160 miles away. Too bad for headline writers and columnists suffering from alliteration syndrome.

Veteran second baseman Mark Ellis said that not only had Puig energized the team and the fans, but that his bullet homer to right field was among the more impressive things he has seen.

"You just don't see them quite like that, from a right-handed hitter," Ellis said. "When I hit shots like that, they go over the second baseman's head."

Ellis said the months ahead for Puig will be telling.

"He's got a lot to prove," Ellis said. "He's from Cuba, plus there are people who didn't agree with the kind of money he got. But if he's not around the last two nights, we don't win those games."

Well, Puig was certainly around Wednesday night and the Dodgers didn't win. That's baseball. Clouds quickly blow in to obscure shining stars.

Puig went 0 for 4, bouncing out weakly twice and striking out twice, the second time looking at a called third strike in the eighth inning, with the Dodgers trailing, 3-2, and in need of heroics.

Maybe it was the media overkill, a disease these days. When it was time for pregame batting practice, Puig was surrounded next to his locker by questioners. Hanley Ramirez teased from a few lockers away that all Puig needed to do to top Tuesday night was "three homers."

Adrian Gonzalez, less playful, noted the media scrum and mentioned that it was time for batting practice. Seeing no movement, Gonzalez informed Puig, in Spanish, of the need to learn one important word. "No."

For the moment, that ended the circus. But in baseball, and Hollywood, there is always another show. This is early in the first act for Puig.

bill.dwyre@latimes.com

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