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Tampa Bay (16-14)020100010480
Boston (19-13) «31120203x12150

Manny feasts after famine, Red Sox get revenge on Shields

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- Manny Ramirez finally ended his longest RBI drought since joining the Red Sox.

Ramirez singled in two runs in the first inning to end his longest RBI drought since 1997, and Josh Beckett pitched eight innings to help the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 12-4 on Saturday night.

A quick look at Manny Ramirez's numbers so far this season makes the drought hard to fathom. Ramirez entered the game hitting .321 with six homers and 20 RBI -- hardly a rough start.

"You keep playing him and he'll have good numbers," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "That's a given."

Tampa Bay's Carlos Pena understands it's just Manny being Manny.

"Stuff like that happens," said Pena, who played with Ramirez for about a month in 2006. "He might get a couple of RBI in a series, then get 15 in a homestand. He understands you stick with a plan and good things happen, and he's been doing it a long time."

Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz each had three hits and Jason Varitek drove in three runs for Boston, which has won four of five after a five-game losing streak.

The Red Sox can complete the three-game sweep -- like the Rays did to them last weekend in St. Petersburg, Fla. -- Sunday afternoon when Tampa Bay's Scott Kazmir is scheduled to make his first start of the season.

Gabe Gross hit a two-run homer and Akinori Iwamura also connected for the Rays, who lost for just the third time in 11 games.

Beckett (3-2) allowing four runs and seven hits, struck out five and walked one.

"They picked me up today," Beckett said. "Offensively, obviously, with the number of runs and hits we had, but there were three or four great plays out in the outfield."

Ramirez threw out Pena trying to score on a flyball, ending a fourth-inning rally.

James Shields (3-2) tossed a two-hit shutout in his previous start Sunday against the Red Sox, but he gave up three runs before retiring a batter Saturday night. He lasted only 3 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs and 10 hits, never looking like the pitcher that baffled Boston last week.

"He just wasn't comfortable," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "He just didn't appear to be. That would be the best word. From the side, you look at the velocity readings, they were normal, but overall command."

Jacoby Ellsbury and Pedroia singled in the first before Ortiz hit an RBI double off the Green Monster. Ramirez appeared to ground out when third baseman Evan Longoria fielded his slow roller down the line and threw to first. But plate umpire Bill Welke ruled the ball foul and sent Pedroia back to third from near the dugout. Ramirez came back down into the batter's box and grounded the next pitch up the middle for a two-run single.

Ramirez had gone 11 games without an RBI since hitting his 496th career homer on April 19, his longest run-producing drought with the Red Sox -- where he signed as a free agent in December 2000 -- and the second-longest of his career. He had previously gone 12 games twice with Cleveland, the last in June 1997.

Gross homered about eight rows into the right-field seats for his first of the season in the second, but Pedroia had an RBI single in the bottom half.

The Rays cut it to 5-3 on Longoria's run-scoring single in the fourth, but Beckett escaped a bases-loaded jam on Ramirez's throw and Varitek's tag.

Notes

  • Francona said after the game that OF Brandon Moss was undergoing an appendectomy at Mass. General Hospital.
  • Boston RF J.D. Drew was back in the lineup after missing the previous three with a tight left quadriceps.
  • Red Sox INF Alex Cora, on the 15-day disabled list since April 16 with a sprained right elbow, took batting practice and threw.
  • Rays CF B.J. Upton, who missed his first game of the season Friday night after leaving Thursday's with a strained left shoulder, took some swings, but Maddon elected not play him.
 
Copyright 2015 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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Brain check: Yup, it's still there. Manny also goes 1-for-3 and raises his average to .322. (Getty Images)
Brain check: Yup, it's still there. Manny also goes 1-for-3 and raises his average to .322. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Boston

D. Ortiz
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
Boston

D. Pedroia
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Tampa Bay Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 2B4121000 .214
Carl Crawford, LF4000011 .290
Eric Hinske, DH4110021 .280
Carlos Pena, 1B4010000 .214
Evan Longoria, 3B4011000 .239
Dioner Navarro, C4120012 .372
Gabe Gross, RF2112200 .188
Nathan Haynes, CF4000014 .244
Jason Bartlett, SS3000000 .232
    Andy Cannizaro, SS1000002 .000
Totals3448425  
Batting
2B - Eric Hinske (6, Beckett)
HR - Akinori Iwamura (2, Beckett), Gabe Gross (1, Beckett)
RBI - Akinori Iwamura (8), Evan Longoria (11), Gabe Gross 2 (5)
2-OUT RBI - Gabe Gross 2 (3)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Gabe Gross 1
DP - Iwamura-Pena
Tampa Bay Rays
James Shields (L,3-2) 3.21077330 3.80
J.P. Howell 2.1222210 3.79
Trever Miller 1100020 2.08
Scott Dohmann 1233210 5.27
HBP - Varitek (by J.P. Howell)
WP - James Shields (2)
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 98-55, J.P. Howell 39-23, Trever Miller 22-12, Scott Dohmann 22-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 5-3, J.P. Howell 5-0
Batters Faced - James Shields 24, J.P. Howell 11, Trever Miller 4, Scott Dohmann 6
Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF4220111 .293
Dustin Pedroia, 2B5231001 .316
    Jed Lowrie, 2B0000000 .286
David Ortiz, DH5232011 .216
Manny Ramirez, LF3212213 .322
Mike Lowell, 3B5110015 .220
Kevin Youkilis, 1B2111300 .291
J.D. Drew, RF4222101 .280
Jason Varitek, C4013014 .256
    Kevin Cash, C0000000 .313
Julio Lugo, SS5011023 .288
Totals3712151277  
Batting
2B - Jacoby Ellsbury (2, Miller), Dustin Pedroia (13, Shields), David Ortiz 2 (4, Shields, Shields), Mike Lowell (4, Howell), J.D. Drew (3, Dohmann), Julio Lugo (5, Shields)
RBI - Dustin Pedroia (17), David Ortiz 2 (24), Manny Ramirez 2 (22), Kevin Youkilis (16), J.D. Drew 2 (15), Jason Varitek 3 (11), Julio Lugo (8)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Varitek (5), Julio Lugo (3)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Manny Ramirez 1
DP - Ramirez-Varitek
Boston Red Sox
Josh Beckett (W,3-2) 8744152 4.19
David Aardsma 1100100 2.87
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Beckett 100-68, David Aardsma 28-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Beckett 5-13, David Aardsma 2-1
Batters Faced - Josh Beckett 31, David Aardsma 5
Game Information
Attendance - 37700
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 46
Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Chuck Meriwether