BOSTON -- With trade rumors about Manny Ramirez swirling around Fenway Park and the fans booing the outfielder every time he stepped to the plate, the Boston Red Sox proved once again they can win under duress.
Minnesota Gold Glove center fielder Torii Hunter sprained a tendon in his left ankle trying to scale the outfield wall in the first inning and had to be taken off the field on a stretcher. X-rays taken at Fenway Park showed no fracture, and Hunter will remain with the Twins through the weekend then go to Minnesota on Monday for an MRI. The injury could be a huge blow to Minnesota's postseason hopes.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he will be placed on the 15-day disabled list, and that Minnesota is unsure how long Hunter will be out.
"It was pretty scary. We know it's not good, but we'll hope for the best," Gardenhire said.
Ramirez went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and a walk in his first game at Fenway Park since it was reported he asked Red Sox management to trade him. Following the game David Ortiz, one of Ramirez's closest friends on the team, expressed dismay at the fan's treatment of the mercurial slugger and said he couldn't picture the Red Sox without him.
"It's a crazy situation, but I don't think what our fans did today to Manny was fair, at all," Ortiz said.
"His numbers are always there every year, and this town should never feel that way about Manny Ramirez," Ortiz said. "If Manny's out of here, it's going to be hard on everybody. It's as simple as that. ... How are you going to replace a guy like that?"
Bronson Arroyo (9-6), the subject of persistent trade rumors over the past two weeks, held Minnesota scoreless for six innings before allowing Joe Mauer's solo homer. He allowed three runs and five hits in 7 1/3 innings in one of his best outings of the season.
With the Red Sox leading 4-3 in the eighth, Olerud put the game out of reach with Boston's club record 10th grand slam of the season. The home run was the 250th of Olerud's career.
Mike Myers started the ninth for the Red Sox and allowed a one-out, two-run homer to Jacque Jones and an infield single to Justin Morneau before being relieved by Curt Schilling. Schilling retired the final two batters for his fourth save in five opportunities.
The Red Sox made it 3-0 in the fifth on Damon's single and two Minnesota errors on the play.
Bill Mueller scored from second when Jones' throw from right was misplayed at the plate by Mauer. Minnesota starter Carlos Silva, who was backing up the plate, then threw wide past Mauer while trying to throw out Tony Graffanino, who had come around from first. Damon then took off for the plate, and was given home after third baseman Luis Rodriguez hit him in the back of the head with the throw. Mauer and Rodriguez were charged with errors and Damon was given an RBI.
"That's what happens when your team hustles," Damon said. "We just took advantage of it. (Minnesota) isn't going to make too many mistakes."
Mauer brought the Twins within 3-1, leading off the seventh with his eighth homer. Mueller hit his fifth homer of the season in seventh to give Boston a 4-1 lead. Terry Tiffee cut the lead to 4-2 with an RBI triple in the eighth, and Shannon Stewart drove him home with an RBI groundout.
Hunter planted his left foot awkwardly on the wall while trying to rob Ortiz of a hit. Hunter is leading the Twins with 14 homers, 56 RBI and 23 stolen bases. Ortiz wound up with a double.
"I never knew Spider-Man could get hurt, but he usually heals fast," Hunter said.
Silva (7-5) allowed two earned runs and seven hits over seven innings.
|John Olerud gets a pat on the helmet from Manny Ramirez after his eighth-inning grand slam. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Shannon Stewart, LF||4||0||0||1||0||0||0||.284|
|Nick Punto, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.250|
|Joe Mauer, C||3||1||1||1||1||0||0||.305|
|Torii Hunter, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.269|
|Lew Ford, CF||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.252|
|Jacque Jones, RF||4||1||2||2||0||0||0||.273|
|Justin Morneau, 1B||4||0||2||0||0||0||2||.251|
|Bret Boone, 2B||3||1||0||0||1||1||3||.220|
|Terry Tiffee, DH||4||1||1||1||0||0||2||.194|
|Luis Rodriguez, 3B||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.287|
|a- Matthew LeCroy, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.277|
|Juan Castro, 3B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.249|
|a-grounded out for Rodriguez in the 8th|
|2B - Lew Ford (21, Arroyo), Justin Morneau (13, Arroyo)|
|3B - Terry Tiffee (1, Arroyo)|
|HR - Joe Mauer (8, Arroyo), Jacque Jones (14, Myers)|
|RBI - Shannon Stewart (45), Joe Mauer (37), Jacque Jones 2 (52), Terry Tiffee (8)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|PB - Joe Mauer (6)|
|E - Juan Castro (7, misplayed grounder), Joe Mauer (3, Rodriguez commits a throwing error and Mauer commits a missed catch error), Luis Rodriguez (3, Rodriguez commits a throwing error and Mauer commits a missed catch error)|
|Carlos Silva (L,7-5)||7||7||4||2||0||3||1||3.33|
|Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Silva 91-66, Jesse Crain 15-6, J.C. Romero 20-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Silva 8-10, Jesse Crain 1-0, J.C. Romero 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Carlos Silva 28, Jesse Crain 3, J.C. Romero 5|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Johnny Damon, CF||4||1||1||1||0||0||0||.337|
|Edgar Renteria, SS||4||1||0||0||0||0||0||.270|
|David Ortiz, DH||3||1||2||0||1||1||0||.298|
|Manny Ramirez, LF||3||1||0||0||1||1||2||.273|
|John Olerud, 1B||4||1||1||4||0||0||1||.266|
|Kevin Millar, RF||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.277|
|Adam Stern, RF||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.167|
|Jason Varitek, C||3||0||1||0||1||1||0||.309|
|Bill Mueller, 3B||4||2||2||1||0||0||2||.287|
|Tony Graffanino, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.300|
|2B - David Ortiz (28, Silva), Jason Varitek (22, Silva)|
|HR - John Olerud (2, Romero), Bill Mueller (5, Silva)|
|RBI - Johnny Damon (50), John Olerud 4 (14), Bill Mueller (43)|
|2-OUT RBI - Johnny Damon (21)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - Graffanino-Renteria-Olerud|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Bronson Arroyo (W,9-6)||7.1||5||3||3||1||0||1||4.22|
|Mike Timlin (H,19)||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.42|
|Curt Schilling (S,4)||0.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||6.44|
|Pitches-Strikes - Bronson Arroyo 96-60, Mike Timlin 6-3, Mike Myers 15-9, Curt Schilling 12-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bronson Arroyo 10-11, Mike Timlin 1-1, Mike Myers 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Bronson Arroyo 27, Mike Timlin 2, Mike Myers 4, Curt Schilling 2|
|Attendance - 35211|
|Game Time - 2:30|
|Temperature - 79|
|Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Bruce Dreckman, Second Base - Bill Hohn, Third Base - Gerry Davis|