for this game

Ramirez's eighth-inning blast lifts Red Sox over Mariners

May 4, 2007 - 5:21 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- Manny Ramirez has been in a prolonged slump since the beginning of the season. Maybe a two-homer night is what he needed to break out.

Ramirez broke an eighth-inning tie with a solo blast into the right field seats and a bullpen-by-committee approach worked for one night as the Boston Red Sox secured an 8-7 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night.

Ramirez, who entered the game with just three homers and a .227 batting average, homered to break a tie in the fifth inning and repeated the feat in the eighth off reliever Chris Reitsma (0-1), a towering drive over the Red Sox bullpen in right-center.

"I thought the timing (of Manny's breakout) was perfect," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "The first one he hit didn't end up going out that far but to get it out tonight, some of those balls (the Mariners) hit to center field were crushed. And then the ball he hit to right, the ball was absolutely leaned on. I mean, he hit that ball like a power left-handed hitter. I can see why he admired it."

"Ironically, you could say every ball he's hit this whole season has been hit hard," Boston center fielder Coco Crisp said. "A lot of times when he goes 0-for- or something he's hit two or three balls hard. Manny's been doing that a lot. It's about time he got his due with the ball dropping or going over the fence."

With Jonathan Papelbon and Hideki Okajima apparently unavailable and Daisuke Matsuzaka largely ineffective, Kyle Snyder, Brendan Donnelly and J.C. Romero combined to toss four scoreless innings.

"He actually felt great," Francona said of Papelbon. "I overrode his feeling great. I just think that it's too long of a year and we love so much when he comes in and dominates but that's what we want. It's not an easy thing to do but I think it's the right thing to do."

Boston is being cautious with Papelbon, who was shut down last September with shoulder problems.

Donnelly (1-1) picked up the win and Romero secured the save.

The 26-year-old Matsuzaka was lifted to start the sixth inning, closing the book on his worst outing as a major leaguer. Matsuzaka yielded seven runs, a season-high five walks and had a season-low one strikeout as his ERA ballooned to 5.45.

"I wonder," a befuddled Matsuzaka admitted afterward. "I don't really know what happened myself. It's not something I think about when I am actually standing out on the mound so starting from the second inning, I really try to start fresh.

"Today, as I came off the mound and I looked at my own pitching and with the way that I have been pitching lately, I definitely know that I need to change something."

Boston had no trouble figuring out Seattle starter Horacio Ramirez, pounding out 11 hits and scoring seven runs in just four innings against the lefthander.

The Mariners opened the scoring in the first, taking advantage of Matsuzaka's wildness to plate five runs with the help of just one hit.

"I think he's just battling himself right now," Boston catcher Jason Varitek said of his starter. "He battled himself all game actually. He needs one clean outing to get him going again. He didn't have a good feel on the baseball with any of his pitches. It was great we got five out of him to be honest with you. He was well off his mark. We need him to go out there and just be himself."

Ichiro Suzuki, who was just 8-for-38 against his countryman in his career spanning back to Japan, drew a walk leading off the game and stole second. Matsuzaka, who appeared rattled, walked Adrian Beltre and Jose Vidro to load the bases.

Raul Ibanez grounded into a fielder's choice, plating Suzuki with the first run. Matsuzaka then hit Richie Sexson with a pitch, re-loading the bases for Jose Guillen, who doubled into the right field corner, plating Ibanez and Vidro.

Matsuzaka's defense let him down after that. Shortstop Julio Lugo made an error and couldn't get to another pop fly, leading to two more runs before Matsuzaka was able to escape the inning with back-to-back flyouts by Jose Lopez and Suzuki, completing a 35-pitch first inning.

The Red Sox got their starter off the hook with a big second inning. After escaping the first inning with relative ease, Horacio Ramirez ran into trouble in the second when he walked Kevin Youkilis leading off the frame.

"We used who we thought we should and we pushed 'em as far as we thought we could," Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. "J.J. (Putz) wasn't available tonight and everybody else was. It felt like the way (Horacio) Ramirez pitched, he seemed to have settled down, except that one inning at the end, where he gave up that two-run homer to Manny. We were hoping that he would settle in but it never happened."

Mike Lowell followed with a single and Jason Varitek drove in Boston's first run with a single to center. Wily Mo Pena loaded the bases with a single to right and Horacio Ramirez compounded his problems by walking Dustin Pedroia, who is batting just .180 after a 1-for-3 night Thursday, to force in a run.

Lugo atoned for his earlier miscue in the field with a ground-rule double into the bullpen in right field, plating Varitek and Pena. David Ortiz forged a tie with a single to center.

The Red Sox captured their first lead of the game two innings later when Manny Ramirez drove Horacio Ramirez's 1-1 offering deep into the left field stands for a two-run blast - his fourth homer of the season.

Seattle came back again in the fifth when Guillen and Yuniesky Betancourt hit RBI singles off Matsuzaka.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SEATTLE 5 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 7 6 1
    BOSTON 0 5 0 2 0 0 0 1 x 8 15 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: SEA - HORACIO RAMIREZ, JULIO MATEO (5TH), CHRIS REITSMA (7TH) AND
    KENJI JOHJIMA
    BOS - DAISUKE MATSUZAKA, KYLE SNYDER (6TH), BRENDAN
    DONNELLY (7TH), J.C. ROMERO (9T

    May 3 10:34 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots

    Mariners vs. Red SoxMay 3 10:24 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MANNY RAMIREZ (5) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF CHRIS REITSMA.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 7, BOSTON 8
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K YOUKILIS (.295, 1-FOR-3, BB)

    Mariners vs. Red SoxMay 3 10:23 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY YUNIESKY BETANCOURT SCORED RICHIE SEXSON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, Y BETANCOURT ON FIRST, J GUILLEN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 7
    BOSTON 7 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: J LOPEZ (.300, 0-FOR-2)

    Mariners vs. Red SoxMay 3 8:55 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOSE GUILLEN SCORED RAUL IBANEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J GUILLEN ON FIRST, R SEXSON ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 6
    BOSTON 7 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: K JOHJIMA (.316, 0-FOR-2, RBI)

    Mariners vs. Red SoxMay 3 8:51 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MANNY RAMIREZ (4) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF HORACIO RAMIREZ SCORED COCO CRISP.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 5, BOSTON 7
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K YOUKILIS (.290, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Mariners vs. Red SoxMay 3 8:35 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAVID ORTIZ SCORED DUSTIN PEDROIA.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, D ORTIZ ON FIRST, J LUGO ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 5
    BOSTON 5 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M RAMIREZ (.224, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners vs. Red SoxMay 3 7:58 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY JULIO LUGO SCORED JASON VARITEK AND
    WILY MO PENA.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, J LUGO ON SECOND, D PEDROIA ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 5
    BOSTON 4 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: C CRISP (.247, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners vs. Red SoxMay 3 7:55 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO DUSTIN PEDROIA SCORED MIKE LOWELL.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D PEDROIA ON FIRST, W PENA ON SECOND, J
    VARITEK ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 5
    BOSTON 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J LUGO (.242, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners vs. Red SoxMay 3 7:53 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON VARITEK SCORED KEVIN YOUKILIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J VARITEK ON FIRST, M LOWELL ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 5
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: W PENA (.172, 2 HR, 5 RBI)

    Mariners vs. Red SoxMay 3 7:49 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SEATTLE 5 5 1 0
    BOSTON 0 0 2 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: SEA - HORACIO RAMIREZ
    BOS - DAISUKE MATSUZAKA

    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J LUGO (.245, 1 HR, 11 RBI)
    C CRISP (.250, 0 HR, 7 RBI)
    D ORTIZ (.310, 7 HR, 23 RBI)

    Mariners vs. Red SoxMay 3 7:27 PM