Emerging from a monthlong slump, Ramirez homered and drove in
five runs Saturday to lead the streaking Red Sox over the Chicago
White Sox 10-7 for their fifth straight victory.
Boston battered White Sox pitching for the second day in a row
and moved a season-high 17 games over .500 with its 11th win in 14
Until now, the surge came without Ramirez's usual production.
The All-Star slugger arrived in Chicago batting just .224 with four
homers and 10 RBI since the All-Star break. But a three-hit game
left him 5-for-7 with two homers and nine RBI in the first two
games of the series.
"Manny had a quiet spell and it looks like he's heating up,"
Boston manager Terry Francona said.
Jason Varitek hit two solo homers and a double, pushing his
average to .301. He also scored three runs.
After playing .500 ball for three months and enduring the
turmoil of trading Nomar Garciaparra, the Red Sox are 13-6 in
August. They have won three straight road series for the first time
"We just show up every day and play good baseball," Francona
said. "Fundamentally, we're a pretty good team. We're getting
contributions throughout the order."
Ramirez downplayed his hitting but said things are coming
together for the Red Sox.
"We just go out and have fun," he said. "Everybody's swinging
and pitching well right now."
The slumping White Sox (60-60) fell to .500 for the first time
since April 11. They lost for the fourth time in five games, all at
home, and trail first-place Minnesota by seven games in the AL
"They battled back," said manager Ozzie Guillen, whose team
fell behind 7-2 by the third inning. "But my starting pitching is
really struggling right now."
Bronson Arroyo (6-9) got the win despite giving up five runs and
seven hits in 5 2-3 innings. Mike Timlin and Terry Adams each
allowed a run before Keith Foulke struck out two in a scoreless
ninth for his 21st save in 26 chances.
"I felt bad from the get-go," Arroyo said. "It was just one
of those days. Luckily the guys scored a ton of runs."
A day after his grand slam sent Boston on the way to a 10-1 win,
Ramirez gave the Red Sox the lead for good in the first inning with
a three-run shot. Rookie left-hander Josh Stewart (0-1) yielded
singles to the first two batters, Johnny Damon and Orlando Cabrera,
before Ramirez drove the first pitch he saw into the left-field
Ramirez's 379th homer tied him with Orlando Cepeda and Tony
Perez for 50th place on the career list.
Paul Konerko's two-run homer in the bottom of the first made it
3-2. But the Red Sox added two runs in the second on RBI singles by
Damon and Ramirez, and two more in the third on back-to-back
doubles by Varitek and Kevin Millar and a sacrifice fly by Gabe
Boston added single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh on two
homers to center by Varitek sandwiched around Ramirez's RBI single.
Chicago got runs in the seventh and eighth on Gload's RBI double
and a solo shot by Joe Crede.
Stewart gave up eight hits and seven runs in only 3 1-3 innings
in the latest failed attempt by Chicago to find a reliable No. 5
starter. In 19 games, White Sox fifth starters are 3-14 with an ERA
"I felt pretty good," Stewart said. "But the bad pitches I
threw, they made me pay for them. That's the sign of a veteran
Plate umpire Doug Eddings ejected Carl Everett for arguing after
he struck out against Timlin with the bases loaded to end the sixth
inning. Everett had disputed the previous pitch.
Cabrera, overcoming a slow start with Boston since
replacing Garciaparra at shortstop, has 10 hits in his last 25
at-bats (.400). ... Konerko's homer was his 30th, the second time
he has reached that mark. ... It was Esteban Loaiza bobblehead day,
a promotion the White Sox scheduled before trading their two-time
All-Star pitcher to the Yankees on July 31 for Jose Contreras.