BOSTON -- Manny Ramirez charged in from left field and Edgar Renteria ran out from shortstop. They collided, leaving fans silent and the Boston Red Sox hopes for a healthy stretch drive on the ground.
After a few minutes, though, they got up and walked to the dugout without any apparent serious injuries. Then the Red Sox went on to beat the Kansas City Royals 8-5 Wednesday night and open a 4½-game lead in the AL East, their biggest of the season, over the New York Yankees.
Ramirez, who hit his AL-leading 30th homer in the first, left the game after the collision in the second and was listed as day-to-day with bruises on the right side of his face and chest. Renteria stayed in the game until he left with sore ribs for pinch hitter Doug Mirabelli in the seventh.
They were hurt when Ruben Gotay lifted a fly to short left field that Ramirez caught for the third out.
"I knew when it was hit they were definitely going to be in trouble unless somebody called the ball," said Johnny Damon, who watched from center field. "Those guys are so important to our team, we need them to get healthy as quick as possible."
Before leaving, Ramirez hit a three-run homer for the second straight day in his only at bat.
"If that's what we get, one at bat, that's the way to do it," Damon said.
Ramirez also suffered a bloody nose and was replaced by Gabe Kapler in the field in the third. Renteria may play Thursday afternoon in the finale of the three-game series.
"I think everything's fine (with Ramirez), but we'll need to check on him in the morning," Boston manager Terry Francona said.
Since efforts to trade him fell through before Sunday's 4 p.m. deadline, Ramirez has been on a tear. His pinch single drove in the winning run in Sunday's 4-3 win over Minnesota, and his three-run homer helped Boston beat Kansas City 6-4 Tuesday night.
Wednesday's homer increased his major league-leading RBI total to 100 and the Red Sox matched their season high with their seventh straight win, while the Royals fell to 0-6 on the road trip that ends Thursday.
"It was bad," Kansas City manager Buddy Bell said. "We didn't play very good (in) any phase, offensively, defensively, pitching."
The Royals took a 4-3 lead with two runs in the second and two in the fourth. Boston then scored twice in the fourth off Kyle Snyder (0-3) and twice in the fifth, sending eight batters to the plate in each inning.
"I made quite a few bad pitches in the first inning," Snyder said. The Red Sox have "as good a hitting offensive club that there is in the big-leagues."
And Ramirez is their most dangerous hitter.
"We hit hard," Renteria said. "I thought Manny was going to be all right because he's a big man. I'm so skinny."
Ramirez's homer made him the seventh major-leaguer to reach 30 homers and 100 RBI in at least eight straight seasons. The others are Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, Babe Ruth and Albert Belle.
Ramirez and Foxx are the only players in Red Sox history with five consecutive 30-homer seasons.
Damon led off the game with a walk, took second on Renteria's single and was thrown out at home on David Ortiz's single. Ramirez then hit the first pitch from Snyder into the seats in left.
But Miller, who missed his last scheduled start with shoulder stiffness, allowed a two-run homer by Emil Brown, his 10th, in the second, then gave up two runs in the fourth on Mike Sweeney's 16th homer and Angel Berroa's RBI single.
Boston made it 7-4 with two unearned runs in the fifth, one scoring on shortstop Berroa's second error of the game and the other on Andrew Sisco's wild pitch.
|Manny Ramirez gets medical attention after colliding with Edgar Renteria. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Kansas City Royals|
|David DeJesus, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||.291|
|Terrence Long, LF||4||0||0||1||0||2||0||.280|
|Mike Sweeney, DH||4||1||1||1||0||1||0||.312|
|Matt Stairs, 1B||3||1||0||0||1||0||0||.257|
|Emil Brown, RF||4||2||2||2||0||0||0||.287|
|Mark Teahen, 3B||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.250|
|Angel Berroa, SS||4||0||1||1||0||1||1||.256|
|Ruben Gotay, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.227|
|John Buck, C||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||.227|
|2B - Mark Teahen (18, W. Miller), John Buck (14, W. Miller)|
|3B - Emil Brown (2, W. Miller)|
|HR - Mike Sweeney (16, W. Miller), Emil Brown (10, W. Miller)|
|RBI - Terrence Long (34), Mike Sweeney (58), Emil Brown 2 (50), Angel Berroa (29)|
|SB - Mark Teahen (5, 3rd base off W. Miller/Varitek)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|Outfield Assists - David DeJesus 1|
|DP - Nunez-Berroa-Stairs|
|E - Angel Berroa 2 (14, misplayed grounder)|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Kyle Snyder (L,0-3)||3.1||8||5||5||1||1||1||9.24|
|WP - Andy Sisco (2), Jimmy Gobble (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Snyder 74-45, Shawn Camp 27-16, Andy Sisco 10-1, Leo Nunez 17-10, Jimmy Gobble 23-12, Mike MacDougal 12-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Snyder 4-5, Shawn Camp 2-3, Andy Sisco 1-0, Leo Nunez 2-0, Mike MacDougal 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Kyle Snyder 19, Shawn Camp 8, Andy Sisco 3, Leo Nunez 5, Jimmy Gobble 4, Mike MacDougal 3|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Johnny Damon, CF||3||0||1||0||2||0||2||.338|
|Edgar Renteria, SS||2||1||1||1||1||0||0||.273|
|a- Doug Mirabelli, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.213|
|Alex Cora, PR-SS||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.213|
|David Ortiz, DH||4||1||1||0||1||1||7||.300|
|Manny Ramirez, LF||1||1||1||3||0||0||0||.279|
|Gabe Kapler, LF||3||0||0||0||1||1||3||.273|
|Jason Varitek, C||5||1||1||0||0||0||1||.305|
|Kevin Millar, 1B||5||1||2||0||0||1||1||.276|
|Bill Mueller, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.283|
|Tony Graffanino, 2B||4||2||2||1||0||0||2||.304|
|Jose Cruz Jr., RF||4||0||2||0||0||1||2||.216|
|a-walked for Renteria in the 7th|
|2B - Kevin Millar 2 (20, Snyder, Snyder), Bill Mueller (22, Nunez)|
|HR - Manny Ramirez (30, Snyder)|
|SF - Edgar Renteria (1)|
|RBI - Edgar Renteria (36), Manny Ramirez 3 (100), Tony Graffanino (20)|
|SB - Jason Varitek (2, 2nd base off Camp/Buck), Tony Graffanino (4, 2nd base off Gobble/Buck)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Wade Miller (W,4-4)||6||6||5||5||3||5||2||4.78|
|Mike Myers (H,6)||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.96|
|Chad Bradford (H,2)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.38|
|Mike Timlin (H,21)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.33|
|Curt Schilling (S,7)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||5.85|
|WP - Wade Miller (5)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Wade Miller 105-68, Mike Myers 5-3, Chad Bradford 1-1, Mike Timlin 11-7, Curt Schilling 12-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wade Miller 4-9, Mike Myers 2-0, Chad Bradford 1-0, Mike Timlin 1-2, Curt Schilling 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Wade Miller 27, Mike Myers 2, Chad Bradford 1, Mike Timlin 3, Curt Schilling 3|
|Attendance - 35055|
|Game Time - 3:03|
|Temperature - 76|
|Umpires - Home - Mark Carlson, First Base - Joe West, Second Base - Brian Gorman, Third Base - Mike DiMuro|