Red Sox 5, Phillies 4
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP)—Here’s one way for a prospect to get his manager’s attention: start a triple play.
“I’m so excited,” said Ramirez, a 21-year-old shortstop who has played only 32 games in Double-A. “It’s something you don’t see every day. Maybe you can see one a year and we’re in spring training and we’ve got one already so, wow, that’s something.”
Manager Terry Francona, facing the team he managed to four losing seasons from 1997-00, said Ramirez isn’t ready for the majors but will be a very good offensive player one day.
“He’s a very impressive young man,” Francona said. “He’s got a chance to be pretty special.”
Boston’s starting shortstop, Edgar Renteria, already is. His homer off Amaury Telemaco in the third cut the Phillies’ lead to 2-1. Renteria is in the first year of a four-year contract he signed as a free agent from St. Louis after Boston swept the Cardinals in the World Series.
Ramirez said he’d consider moving to second base but sees Renteria more as a teacher than an obstacle.
“It’s my first year with him. I think I’m going to learn a lot from him in four years,” Ramirez said. “I don’t think about the major leagues right now. … All I’ve got on my mind right now (is) I’ve got to play hard every day.”
Ramirez’s locker is in a hallway between the main part of the clubhouse and the weight room. The ball used on the triple play was on his top shelf, already inscribed in black marker with the date and the achievement.
The triple play occurred after Ryan Howard and Jason Michaels walked. Todd Pratt hit a liner just to the left of second base. Ramirez caught it, stepped on second and threw to first. Michaels was heading toward second at the time and Ramirez might have been able to tag him out for an unassisted triple play.
“It’s a bam-bam play. You don’t have the time to think about it,” Ramirez said. “You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do right away.”
Pat Burell went 1-for-4 after missing Philadelphia’s previous two games with a sore right thigh. He struck out twice, then doubled and grounded out.
Randy Wolf, limited to 23 starts last year by tendinitis in his left elbow, allowed three hits in two scoreless innings in his first start of spring training. He left with a 2-0 lead on Kenny Lofton’s RBI triple in the first after a walk to Jimmy Rollins and Howard’s leadoff homer in the second.
The Phillies made it 4-1 in the fourth against Byung-Hyun Kim. They loaded the bases on a double by Jim Thome and walks to Placido Polanco and Howard. One run scored on a bases-loaded walk to Michaels and the other on Tomas Perez’s groundout.
Kim “got squeezed a little bit,” Boston catcher Jason Varitek said. “He had probably six balls that could have been called strikes.”
The Red Sox took a 5-4 lead with four runs in the sixth off loser Keith Bucktrot. They loaded the bases on walks to Tim Hummel and Trot Nixon and a single by Varitek. Roberto Petagine singled in two runs, Kevin Youkilis hit a run-scoring single and Boston went ahead when Petagine scored on a wild pitch.