BOSTON -- David Ortiz hugged Manny Ramirez to welcome him back to Fenway Park. Then Ortiz hit a home run to move alongside his former teammate on Boston's all-time home run list.
Ortiz hit his 274th homer for the Red Sox to tie his quirky friend for fifth in franchise history, leading Boston to a 10-6 victory over the Dodgers on Friday night in Ramirez's first game back since his acrimonious departure from the team he helped win two World Series titles.
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"Manny did so many good things the longer he played here," Ortiz said. "All he did was put up numbers. To be right there with him, that caliber of power hitter, it's a great feeling."Adrian Beltre hit a two-run homer in a seven-run fifth inning that helped 22-year-old left-hander Felix Doubront win in his major league debut. J.D. Drew also homered for Boston before leaving with a strained right hamstring in the third inning.The Dodgers scored once in the ninth to cut the deficit to four runs, and they had men on second and third when Ramirez came up with two out in the ninth. Josh Bard struck him out to end the game and earn his third save.Ortiz said he wasn't nervous."I wasn't the pitcher," he said. "So I was fine."Garret Anderson homered for Los Angeles, and Carlos Monasterios (3-2) lost his second straight decision. He was chased after facing three batters in the fifth inning, giving up six runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out two.Ramirez was greeted warmly by the Red Sox and with a mixed reaction from a sold-out crowd that included Roger Clemens, another polarizing former Boston star. Clemens, like Ramirez, declined to talk to reporters before he took his seat in the front row atop the Green Monster."He seemed fine. He was very determined," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "He didn't seem edgy at all. He was out there, he was a teammate. He did all the things he'd normally do. He seemed pretty comfortable to me. He kidded about it a couple of times during the week but nothing that indicated to me that he wasn't looking forward to it."In the lineup at designated hitter, Ramirez went 1-for-5 with a sixth-inning single that brought out the boos from Boston fans still smarting over Los Angeles' victory in Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night."I know the fans here love to boo," said Torre, who spent 12 years with the archrival New York Yankees. "I certainly hope they understand how much Manny meant to this club, and they won two World Series with him."The "Beat L.A.!" chants that had permeated the ballpark all week were tepid, and no consolation for the Lakers' victory that deprived the Celtics of an unprecedented 18th NBA championship.Doubront (1-0) allowed three runs -- two of them off his own error -- in the third inning, and he had given up just three hits through five before running into more trouble in the sixth. Ramirez led off with a single to center, and the next three batters also reached safely to make it 10-5 and chase Doubront.In all, Doubront gave up three earned runs on six hits and two walks, striking out two in five-plus innings.It was also Drew's first game against his former team since he controversially opted out of his contract after the 2006 season. He homered in the first inning -- it was originally ruled a double before the umpires consulted the replay -- but left in the third when he strained his right hamstring stretching for Ramirez's line drive.Drew made the catch, but Darnell McDonald pinch-hit for him in the bottom half.
To make room for Doubront on the roster, the Red Sox designated RHP Boof Bonser for assignment. Doubront was 6-1 with a 2.11 ERA in 12 Double- and Triple-A starts. Bonser spent most of the season on the disabled list with a right groin strain, and he was 0-0 with an 18.00 ERA in two appearances.