Ramirez hit his 501st homer, had three hits and drove in three runs, and the Boston Red Sox continued their hitting revival at the expense of the Baltimore Orioles in a 9-4 victory Sunday.
On Saturday night, after he became the 24th major leaguer to hit No. 500, Ramirez said, “The next goal is 501.”
He took care of that item of business in his third at-bat, driving a 1-0 pitch from Brian Burres into the right-field seats to put Boston up 6-3 in the fourth inning.
“The same when I hit No. 1,” Ramirez said afterward, referring to his second major league game against the New York Yankees on Sept. 3, 1993, when he followed his first career home run with another.
Playing designated hitter for injured David Ortiz (sprained wrist), Ramirez came up with the perfect encore to his epic outing Saturday. He has homered in consecutive games after hitting only three in 34 games during his quest for 500.
“It didn’t take long at all,” said Boston bench coach Brad Mills, who took over the managerial job while Terry Francona attended the graduation of his daughter. “He had some real good at bats up there. He’s a professional hitter, one of the best there is. He showed it again today.”
Lowell went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Drew, who missed two straight starts because of vertigo, had two hits and three RBIs. Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits and a stolen base, his seventh steal in the series.
The Red Sox came to town with five losses in six games, thanks mainly to an offense that produced only one run in 19 innings. But Boston has scored 20 runs in the series and had a season-high tying 16 hits Sunday, including 12 through the first four innings.
“We’re going to click,” Ramirez said. “Sometimes we get cold. That’s part of the game.”
Red Sox starter Bartolo Colon (3-0) allowed four runs and seven hits in six-plus innings. He has won three straight starts since his contract was purchased from Triple-A Pawtucket, where he made three rehab starts.
“He kept us in there,” Mills said. “He might have got a little tired at the end.”
Luke Scott homered for the Orioles, who have lost four straight and nine of 11.
Burres (4-5) gave up seven runs and 12 hits in four innings. Over his last two starts, the left-hander has surrendered 15 runs and 22 hits.
“I’m really going to look at what I need to do to try to keep the ball back down in the zone,” Burres said. “Just strike one, get ahead of hitters a little bit better than I have been.”
He had no complaints over the pitch to Ramirez, saying, “It was just the wrong pitch to throw. It was pretty much where I wanted it, but he hit it a long way.”
Steve Trachsel went the rest of the way for the Orioles, allowing two runs and four hits in the second relief appearance of his career—the first since Sept. 16, 1995. He has 417 starts, including eight this season, but appears to have lost his spot in the rotation.
“The first inning was a little nerve-racking. I don’t know if it was doing it the first time or jogging in from center field, the heart rate was definitely more than normal,” Trachsel said. “But after that it was just pretty much business as usual.”
Lowell doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Drew to put Boston up 1-0 in the second. Adam Jones hit an RBI single in the bottom half.
The Red Sox sent eight players to the plate in the third and took a 4-1 lead. Ramirez doubled in a run, Lowell hit a sacrifice fly and Drew added an RBI single.
After Ramirez and Lowell homered in the fourth, Scott hit a two-run drive in the bottom half to make it 7-3.
Any chance Baltimore had at a comeback was thwarted by Boston’s solid defensive play. In the sixth inning, second baseman Dustin Pedroia dived to his right to snare a grounder before getting to one knee and throwing out Jay Payton. In the seventh, Drew made a diving catch of Scott’s liner to right with two on and two out.
“If it were not some great defensive plays they made in the field, we might have gotten back in it,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.
The last five of Ramirez’s 11 homers have come on the road. … Ortiz will receive an MRI on Monday, Mills said. … Baltimore is 1-8 against Boston when Burres pitches, but he’s 1-1 lifetime against the Red Sox. … Trachsel’s five-inning stint gave him 2,500 for his career.
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