BOSTON -- No matter what uniform Manny Ramirez wears to Fenway Park, he keeps on hitting.
The slugger the Chicago White Sox hope will help them to the playoffs singled twice in a 3-1 win over the Boston Red Sox in the opener of a day-night doubleheader Saturday. In June, Ramirez returned to his former stadium with the Los Angeles Dodgers and went 5 for 12 with a solo homer in a three-game series.
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And that followed 7½ seasons in which he caused headaches for opposing pitchers -- and his own team with his oddball antics -- with 274 homers, 868 RBI and a .312 batting average with Boston.
On Saturday, in his second game since being claimed on waivers, Ramirez helped Chicago climb 3½ games behind the AL Central leading Minnesota Twins.
"When you're a great hitter and you don't have your timing yet, that's helping the ballclub," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said., "Manny's not coming here to be the hero, not coming here to be the guy who is going to carry this load. The last two games he has played for us he's been great."
Ramirez went 1 for 3 in his first game with Chicago, a 6-4 win in Cleveland on Wednesday.
Saturday's day game was a makeup of Friday night's postponement of the series opener because of the threat of severe weather from Hurricane Earl. Chicago's Gavin Floyd was scheduled to face John Lackey in the second game
"PK's the key to the White Sox right now," Guillen said. "Having Manny here helps, you know what I mean? I think the players go out there with more confidence. They might think they have to pitch to them because Manny's right behind him, but I think we won those games because we got clutch hitting and we pitched well."
Clay Buchholz (15-6) gave up two runs and left after just five innings in hopes he can pitch Wednesday night on three days rest against the Tampa Bay Rays, who lead Boston by 7½ games in the AL wild card race.
"He was making a lot of good pitches that were getting fouled off," Konerko said. "Next thing you know the pitch count was high and we're into the bullpen."
Buchholz allowed five hits and the White Sox tacked on seven more in the last four innings. Since June 9, they're 50-27, the best record in the majors, with a .293 batting average.
"They've always been a good hitting team and [then] you throw Manny in the mix and it makes them that much better," Buchholz said.
On Saturday, Ramirez's singles moved up Konerko, who eventually scored both times. Ramirez grounded out in his other two at-bats.
Konerko "is having a great year," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "They were really trying to stay [in the] middle of the field, right field, respecting that changeup, and he fought a couple off. Manny did the same thing."
Danks gave up one run on six hits as he improved to 2-2 in his last seven starts after winning his previous four. Sergio Santos worked the eighth and Bobby Jenks got the final three outs for his 26th save in 30 opportunities.
Buchholz entered the game with a major-league leading 2.21 ERA that rose to 2.25. He is 5-1 in his last eight starts.
Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the second when Konerko singled and took third on Ramirez's single to right. A.J. Pierzynski grounded into a double play, but Konerko scored.
Konerko started the fourth with a ground-rule double and moved up on Ramirez's groundout to second. Then Pierzynski singled to center for a 2-0 lead.
Boston had just three hits in four innings before scoring in the fifth. Bill Hall led off with a single, Darnell McDonald walked and Marco Scutaro followed with an RBI single. But Danks retired the next three batters on fly balls.
Scott Atchison replaced Buchholz and pitched a scoreless sixth before allowing a run in the seventh. Andruw Jones doubled but was tagged out at third when Alexei Ramirez grounded into a fielder's choice. Gordon Beckham then doubled in the third run.
- Konerko is 28 for 57 during his hitting streak, a .491 batting average.
- Pierzynski extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
- Buchholz has allowed three runs or less in 17 of his last 18 starts.
- Boston's Jason Varitek, out since July 1 with a broken right foot, is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment at catcher for Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday.