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Tampa Bay at Boston

Tampa Bay
W: M. Clement (1-0) L: D. Brazelton (0-3)
HR: TB - None   BOS - M. Ramirez (1), M. Ramirez (2)

Red Sox 6, Devil Rays 2

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

BOSTON -- A couple of swings by Manny Ramirez made Matt Clement's Fenway debut a lot easier.

Ramirez ended his longest homerless drought to start a season with a grand slam and a two-run shot for the Red Sox, and Matt Clement won his first start in Boston, a 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Saturday night.

"What can I say?" Clement said after pitching seven strong innings. "The guys played great. Manny single-handedly won the game offensively."

Earlier in the day, Boston manager Terry Francona was asked about Ramirez and reiterated that things will turn around soon. Judging by the slugger's career numbers it wasn't a bold prediction, but he was proved correct a few hours later.

"I don't want to say the first one came out of nowhere," Francona said, "but he check-swinged the first pitch and he looked a little frustrated and then -- boom -- he puts on a perfect swing."

Ramirez hit a two-run shot in the third inning, his 39th at-bat this season. In 2003, he didn't connect until his 35th at-bat. He hit his 18th grand slam in the sixth.

Clement (1-0), signed as a free agent during the offseason after pitching for the Cubs last year, gave up one run and seven hits while striking out six and walking two.

Boston grabbed a 2-1 lead in the third when Ramirez homered over the seats above the Green Monster. Johnny Damon singled leading off, then moved to third on consecutive wild throws by Dewon Brazelton. The first was on an errant pickoff attempt, and then he threw a wild pitch.

Ramirez, who left the clubhouse before the media arrived after the game, entered the night hitting just .211 with four RBI.

Ramirez's slam made it 6-1 in the fourth. He lined a shot into the left-field seats after walks to Bill Mueller and Mark Bellhorn, and a single by Trot Nixon.

"It's bad business walking people in front of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "It's bad business. ... You make the other guys hit the ball."

Ramirez's 18 slams are the most among active players and tied for third all-time with Robin Ventura and Willie McCovey. Lou Gehrig leads with 23.

Alex Gonzalez went 4-for-4 with a double and three singles for the Devil Rays.

Brazelton (0-3) remained winless in his career on the road, dropping to 0-12 in 16 starts. He yielded six runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings while walking six and striking out one.

"There are no excuses for what happened," Brazelton said. "It was just bad. I was horrible."

Toby Hall's RBI single gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead in the second.


It was Ramirez's 40th career multi-homer game. ... Tampa Bay's Jorge Cantu doubled in the second, extending his season-opening hitting streak to 11 games, second longest in Devil Rays' history behind Rocco Baldelli's 13 in 2003. ... Brazelton is 0-7 in his last 10 starts. ... Kevin Millar has two hits in his last 23 at-bats. ... The crowd cheered when a note was flashed on the center-field board with the Yankees' loss and their worst start since 1991.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

M. Ramirez
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 2

M. Clement
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 2
K 6

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Alex Sanchez, CF4010013 .333
Aubrey Huff, RF3010113 .293
Josh Phelps, DH4000012 .300
Travis Lee, 1B4000011 .265
Jorge Cantu, 2B4110020 .333
Toby Hall, C3011000 .219
   a- Chris Singleton, PH1110000 .267
Alex Gonzalez, 3B4040000 .379
a-singled for Hall in the 9th
2B - Jorge Cantu (3, Clement), Alex Gonzalez (1, Clement)
3B - Alex Sanchez (1, Clement)
RBI - Carl Crawford (10), Toby Hall (1)
2-OUT RBI - Toby Hall (1)
Team LOB - 9
E - Dewon Brazelton (1, Wild throw), Alex Sanchez (1, Dropped fly)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Dewon Brazelton (L,0-3) 3.2666612 6.75
Travis Harper 3.1000010 5.40
Danys Baez 1100010 0.00
WP - Dewon Brazelton (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Dewon Brazelton 91-43, Travis Harper 39-24, Danys Baez 12-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dewon Brazelton 4-6, Travis Harper 2-8, Danys Baez 2-0
Batters Faced - Dewon Brazelton 23, Travis Harper 11, Danys Baez 4
Boston Red Sox
Johnny Damon, CF5110003 .273
Trot Nixon, RF5120002 .267
Manny Ramirez, LF3226100 .244
David Ortiz, DH4010012 .293
Kevin Millar, 1B2000201 .206
    David McCarty, 1B0000000 .500
Edgar Renteria, SS3000104 .256
Jason Varitek, C4000002 .343
Bill Mueller, 3B3110101 .222
Mark Bellhorn, 2B3100122 .250
2B - Trot Nixon (2, Brazelton), David Ortiz (5, Brazelton)
HR - Manny Ramirez 2 (2, Brazelton, Brazelton)
RBI - Manny Ramirez 6 (10)
Team LOB - 8
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Boston Red Sox
Matt Clement (W,1-0) 7711260 3.12
Alan Embree 1100010 2.84
Mike Timlin 1211010 3.38
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Pitches-Strikes - Matt Clement 108-74, Alan Embree 11-10, Mike Timlin 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Clement 9-5, Alan Embree 1-1, Mike Timlin 2-0
Batters Faced - Matt Clement 29, Alan Embree 4, Mike Timlin 5
Game Information
Attendance - 35106
Game Time - 2:48
Temperature - 46
Umpires - Home - Mark Wegner, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - Larry Poncino