Red Sox 6, Twins 2

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BOSTON (AP)—Manny Ramirez just needs to clear his head and David Wells showed again that he can pitch through distractions.

With trade rumors swirling around Fenway Park after Ramirez was scratched just before the game, Wells allowed two runs in seven-plus innings as the Boston Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 6-2 on Saturday night.

Ramirez was removed from Boston’s lineup just five minutes before the game.

The All-Star slugger is the key player in a much-discussed, three-team trade, which also involves the New York Mets and Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Ramirez got the night off after getting booed Friday.

“I visited with him and told him that I think, in not just the best interest, but our ballclub’s best interest, that he sit and clear his head, take a few breaths.” Francona said. “We’ll go tonight, tomorrow and have an off-day Monday, and he agreed.”

Ramirez, who insisted on having Wednesday off against Tampa Bay after Francona asked him to reconsider, ran onto the field with his teammates to celebrate after the game ended as the crowd chanted “Manny! Manny!” He was booed during Friday night’s game.

Wells, who spent four seasons with the Yankees, certainly knows what it’s like to be in the middle of controversy.

“I can’t worry about all the distractions and all that kind of stuff,” Wells said. “I’ve dealt with that crap throughout my whole career. … But when its time to go out there between the lines I am focused on what I need to do.”

John Olerud drove in three runs and Gabe Kapler had two hits and scored twice as Ramirez’s replacement.

In a very unusual move, Red Sox security closed the street near the players’ parking lot from the media and public during the game. A clubhouse attendant later took Ramirez’s car and filled it with gas before parking it near the entrance.

“(Terry) knows what his job is,” Boston’s Johnny Damon said. “He wants Manny to get his head right. I think with everything going on it definitely is tough. Coming to Fenway, getting booed, some of it is deserved, some of it is not. Manny just needs to get used to it. He’s a superstar.”

Wells (9-5) took a shutout into the eighth and gave up seven hits, struck out three and didn’t walk a batter. He gave up just four singles and allowed one runner to third in the first seven innings. It was his seventh win in eight decisions.

Chad Bradford got four outs and Mike Myers got the final two.

Olerud singled in a run off Kyle Lohse (7-10) in the first inning. The Red Sox made it 2-0 in the second on Edgar Renteria’s run-scoring single after Kapler and Johnny Damon each singled.

“Wells pitched the ball very good,” Minnesota’s Ron Gardenhire said. “We really didn’t have much going.”

Bill Mueller hit an RBI triple in the third and Olerud’s bases-loaded, two-run single off Terry Mulholland—after David Ortiz was intentionally walked—made it 5-0 in the sixth. Jason Varitek added an RBI single.

Mike Redmond had an RBI double and Juan Castro a run-scoring single in the eighth to chase Wells.

Lohse pitched five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits.

“It’s frustrating. We’re not doing a whole lot right it seems like,” Lohse said. “Hopefully we can get out of it soon.”

Wells got out of a first-and-third jam in the third when Justin Morneau and Mike Redmond bounced into fielder’s choices.

When asked about the possibility of Ramirez being traded before the game, Francona said: “I have enough faith in the people that I work for that, if they make changes, it’s going to make the team better.

“I wouldn’t talk about Manny specifically in a trade,” he said when asked again. “I’m going to talk about anybody. I wouldn’t do that.”

Notes

Ramirez, who usually arrives early, joked with security about cleaning out his locker when he came to the park around 10 a.m. to work out. He left just before 11 and returned later in the afternoon. … Red Sox OF Kapler received a standing ovation from the crowd during his first at-bat. … Boston designated OF Adam Hyzdu for assignment before the game and activated Kapler from the 15-day DL. … Twins SS Castro made a diving stop on Tony Graffanino’s ball up the middle and flipped it with his glove to Bret Boone for a force at second in the fifth. … Ortiz walked four times, matching his career high.

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