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Boston (34-24) «002001210690
Baltimore (26-28)020010000392

Manny hits 500th, BoSox take care of business against O's

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BALTIMORE -- Dreadlocks are in fashion in the exclusive 500-home run club, now that Manny Ramirez has added his name to the list of baseball's most prolific sluggers.

Ramirez became the 24th player to reach the milestone, connecting in the seventh inning off Chad Bradford to help the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-3 Saturday night.

Boston's left fielder hit the first pitch into the bleacher seats in right-center. He stood and watched the flight of the ball, then took off around the bases in a slow trot, a broad smile on his face.

"I'm happy, you know, about everything I accomplished in life," Ramirez said afterward. "Not everybody has the chance to go and get to 500. I'm just proud to do it."

It took him long enough. After hitting No. 496 on April 19, he had only three homers in 34 games before Saturday.

"Every time you get to the hotel, (people say), 'Hey, when you gonna hit it?' I'm just happy everything's done for now," Ramirez said. "I can go be myself and have fun."

Ramirez certainly had a delightful time rounding the bases. He slapped a high-five with first base coach Luis Alicea, tapped hands with third base coach DeMarlo Hale, then hugged on-deck hitter Mike Lowell as he crossed the plate. Many of his teammates greeted him as he reached the dugout, where Ramirez received more hugs and bounced up and down in an embrace with David Ortiz and Julio Lugo.

"They're so proud to have me, a guy so loose, to play the game," Ramirez said of his teammates. "I guess they really appreciate it."

Boston manager Terry Francona said, "His teammates have been waiting for it and it was special to watch. ... Seeing the home run was fun, but watching his teammates show their affection was great."

Even his former teammates were proud. Kevin Millar, who played for Boston from 2003-05, said, "I'm happy for him. He's got a uniqueness about him that makes him easy to like. He looks like a Brazilian Rainforest guy. You take away the hair and the baggy uniform, he's just a guy that can hit."

The solo shot gave Boston a 5-3 lead. It traveled an estimated 410 feet.

In the bottom of the seventh, as he ran his position in the outfield, Ramirez waved to thousands of Boston fans among the 48,281 at Camden Yards. Although it was a road game for the Red Sox, many seats were filled with Boston backers, and virtually everyone in the ballpark took delight in seeing history made.

"That's why they call it the Red Sox Nation. They follow us everywhere. Everywhere we go, we get a big support," Ramirez said. "I'm just happy it's over with and I'm proud to do it here."

The 500-home run club has only two dozen members, but Ramirez also joined an even smaller fraternity. He is only the seventh player in baseball history with 500 homers, 1,500 RBIs, 1,000 walks, 475 doubles and a .300 batting average. The others are Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Mel Ott, Babe Ruth, Frank Thomas and Ted Williams.

"It's nice to be part of history," Ramirez said.

Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia also homered for the Red Sox, and Jacoby Ellsbury stole three bases in a second straight game. Ellsbury also tripled in the seventh off Lance Cormier (0-2) and scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Ortiz before Bradford entered to face Ramirez.

Bradford had allowed only two home runs since May 14, 2006.

"He doesn't give up that many," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "You think you have the right situation, but..."

Bradford left the Baltimore clubhouse without talking to reporters.

Throughout the first two games of the series, Ramirez was swinging at the first pitch. He did it again against Bradford, with positive results.

"You could see he was aggressive up there," Trembley said. "The worst thing we did was throw him a strike. It probably would have been better if threw the ball outside of the strike zone every time tonight because he seemed like he was in a hurry to get it over with."

Mission accomplished, against a pitcher who doesn't give up many home runs.

"His power is so strong to center and right field. You don't see that against a guy like Chad Bradford," Millar said. "That's why it's all the more amazing."

In the ninth inning, Ortiz hurt his left hand while swinging at a pitch and left the game. X-rays were negative; the injury was diagnosed as a strained wrist.

One batter after Ortiz exited, Ramirez popped out to finish 1-for-5. But that one hit was a whopper.

"Great, man. Finally, it's over with. It's a good thing, man," Ortiz said. "I told him, 'You can finally go eat. No one's going to ask you (about) 500 anymore."'

The ball was retrieved by a Boston fan who claimed to have caught it on the fly. He handed the ball to Ramirez in the Red Sox clubhouse after the game.

"I don't want to keep the ball. I want to see how much money I can get for the hospital I'm donating $1,000 for (every) home run," Ramirez said. "That's what I want to do."

Pitching for the second time since his no-hitter on May 19 against Kansas City, Boston's Jon Lester allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings. His run of four starts without yielding a home run ended when Brian Roberts connected in the fifth to give Baltimore a 3-2 lead.

Lester was replaced by David Aardsma (2-1), who pitched two scoreless innings. Jonathan Papelbon worked the ninth for his 16th save.

Notes

  • Ellsbury took over the AL lead with 26 steals (in 28 tries).
  • Red Sox RF J.D. Drew entered in the ninth inning after missing Friday's game with vertigo.
  • All four of Roberts' homers have been solo shots.
  • Boston activated RHP Clay Buchholz from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Pawtucket, where he had been on a rehabilitation assignment.
 
Copyright 2014 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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His homer trot over, Manny indulges in serious celebrating with Julio Lugo and Big Papi. (US Presswire)
His homer trot over, Manny indulges in serious celebrating with Julio Lugo and Big Papi. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Boston

D. Pedroia
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Boston

M. Ramirez
AB 5
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, RF-LF3110221 .281
Dustin Pedroia, 2B5121003 .281
David Ortiz, DH3112012 .252
   a- Sean Casey, PH-DH1000001 .351
Manny Ramirez, LF5111002 .286
    J.D. Drew, RF0000000 .282
Mike Lowell, 3B4100011 .273
Kevin Youkilis, 1B3110010 .302
Jason Varitek, C4031001 .272
Coco Crisp, CF4000013 .248
Julio Lugo, SS3000112 .274
    Alex Cora, SS0000000 .333
Totals3569537  
a-flied out for Ortiz in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jason Varitek (12, Olson)
3B - Jacoby Ellsbury (3, Cormier)
HR - Dustin Pedroia (4, Olson), David Ortiz (13, Olson), Manny Ramirez (10, Bradford)
SF - David Ortiz (2)
RBI - Dustin Pedroia (28), David Ortiz 2 (43), Manny Ramirez (35), Jason Varitek (20)
2-OUT RBI - Dustin Pedroia (12), David Ortiz (20), Manny Ramirez (15)
SB - Jacoby Ellsbury 3 (26, 3rd base off Olson/Hernandez, 2nd base off Olson/Hernandez, 3rd base off Olson/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Lowell-Youkilis, Cora-Pedroia
PB - Jason Varitek (1)
Boston Red Sox
Jon Lester 5733341 3.67
David Aardsma (W,2-1) 2000020 2.73
Hideki Okajima (H,11) 1100010 0.72
Jonathan Papelbon (S,16) 1100110 2.08
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 103-62, David Aardsma 27-19, Hideki Okajima 10-7, Jonathan Papelbon 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 9-1, David Aardsma 4-0, Hideki Okajima 2-0
Batters Faced - Jon Lester 24, David Aardsma 6, Hideki Okajima 4, Jonathan Papelbon 4
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B4111110 .267
Nick Markakis, RF5020002 .258
Melvin Mora, 3B4000012 .245
Kevin Millar, 1B2100211 .237
Aubrey Huff, DH3010111 .244
Ramon Hernandez, C4120014 .222
Jay Payton, LF4011012 .236
Adam Jones, CF4011021 .245
Alex Cintron, SS3000001 .350
   a- Luke Scott, PH1010000 .253
Totals3439348  
a-singled for Cintron in the 9th
Batting
2B - Nick Markakis 2 (10, Lester, Lester), Aubrey Huff (13, Lester)
HR - Brian Roberts (4, Lester)
RBI - Brian Roberts (18), Jay Payton (15), Adam Jones (17)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Cintron-Millar
E - Alex Cintron (2, Throwing), Garrett Olson (1, Throwing)
Baltimore Orioles
Garrett Olson 5322252 4.03
Lance Cormier (L,0-2) 1.1322000 2.84
Jamie Walker 0.1000000 4.41
Chad Bradford 0.1111001 3.12
Dennis Sarfate 2211120 3.38
HBP - Lowell (by Lance Cormier), Youkilis (by Dennis Sarfate)
Pitches-Strikes - Garrett Olson 89-52, Lance Cormier 27-18, Jamie Walker 3-2, Chad Bradford 3-3, Dennis Sarfate 43-25
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Garrett Olson 4-7, Lance Cormier 2-2, Dennis Sarfate 1-2
Batters Faced - Garrett Olson 21, Lance Cormier 8, Jamie Walker 1, Chad Bradford 2, Dennis Sarfate 9
Game Information
Attendance - 48281
Game Time - 3:20
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Andy Fletcher