BOSTON (AP) -- Manny Ramirez's best hitting game of the season
was overshadowed by his flashy fielding.
He homered once, doubled twice and drove in five runs in
Boston's 12-1 rain-shortened win over the Philadelphia Phillies on
But the biggest cheers from the capacity crowd came after the
left fielder, not known for his defensive prowess, made a
backhanded diving catch in the seventh inning for one of his eight
"I think Dwight Evans is going to have nightmares tonight,"
Ramirez said with a smile about the former Red Sox right fielder,
an outstanding defensive player.
The game was called after a 49-minute rain delay with one out
and no runners in the bottom of the eighth.
"I think the game was pretty much in hand," Phillies manager
Larry Bowa said. "The bullpen didn't do a very good job, and we
just haven't hit."
Ramirez's catch on Mike Lieberthal's drive ended the seventh
inning. Lieberthal was the last batter Pedro Martinez (8-3) faced
in his two-hit, seven-inning performance, and the pitcher waited
near second base to greet Ramirez.
"It was a great play. One of the best I've seen from an
outfielder," Martinez said.
Martinez, 4-0 in his last seven starts, allowed just Jim Thome's
major league-leading 25th homer leading off the seventh and Placido
Polanco's leadoff single in the fourth.
"I've been struggling most of the year in the early part of the
games," said Martinez, who struck out two and walked two. "So I
decided to work a little bit more in the bullpen on my breaking
Kevin Youkilis hit two two-run doubles and David Ortiz homered
to start an eight-run sixth -- Boston's biggest of the season. Seven
of the runs came with two outs and three were off Roberto
Hernandez, who relieved Paul Abbott (0-2) with the score 3-0 in the
"I'm fighting myself just to make quality pitches," Hernandez
said. "I haven't done my job."
Ramirez hit his AL-best 20th homer leading off the second,
doubled in a run in the third and hit a three-run double in the
sixth. He nearly had another homer, but Bobby Abreu reached over
the short right-field fence to grab his long drive earlier in the
The homer went to center field, the first double to left and the
second double to right.
"When you hit the ball with authority the other way," Boston
manager Terry Francona said, "you can pretty much cover the plate
when you do that."
The loudest cheers from the Red Sox's 101st straight sellout
crowd followed Ramirez's diving catch after he ran hard from
"We know he can hit," Boston's Kevin Millar said, "but when
he starts making web gems, we've got issues."
Ramirez was hugged by teammates in the dugout, then stepped out
and waved his cap as the fans gave him a standing ovation.
Thome's homer came after Martinez sat in the dugout during
Boston's big sixth inning. Curtis Leskanic, released earlier this
month by Kansas City, pitched a perfect eighth in his Red Sox
Ortiz led off the sixth with his 18th homer, increasing his AL
lead to 69 RBI, before Abbott retired the next two batters. Abbott
then walked Trot Nixon and allowed a single to Millar.
Hernandez replaced Abbott and gave up an RBI single to Jason
Varitek, a two-run double to Youkilis and walked Johnny Damon to
put runners at first and third. Mark Bellhorn singled in a run off
Brian Powell, Ortiz walked and Ramirez capped the rally with a
"This lineup is unbelievable," said Youkilis, a rookie third
baseman. "It seems like pitchers can't breathe at all."
Ramirez's 20th homer broke a tie for the AL lead with New York's
Alex Rodriguez. He made it 2-0 in the third with an RBI double
after Ortiz doubled.
Martinez retired the first seven batters before hitting
Lieberthal with a pitch. He walked David Bell with one out in the
fifth, then retired the next five batters. After Thome homered,
Martinez walked Pat Burrell then retired the next three batters,
the last on Ramirez's diving catch.
Abbott faced the Red Sox for the second time this season,
the first with the Phillies. He was with Tampa Bay on April 28 when
he allowed four runs in 6 1-3 innings in a 6-0 loss at Fenway Park
against Curt Schilling. ... The Red Sox scored their previous
season high of seven runs in an inning against Baltimore on April
7, against Tampa Bay on April 29 and vs. San Francisco on June 18.
... Only four of Philadelphia's 24 outs came on grounders.