April 17, 2005

G11: Red Sox 6, Devil Rays 2

Or: Manny Ramirez 6, Devil Rays 2.

Ramirez hit two home runs last night -- a two-run shot in the third and a grand slam in the fourth -- both off of Dewan Brazelton. The slam was Ramirez's 18th, tying him with Willie McCovey for third place on the all-time list behind Lou Gehrig (23) and Eddie Murray (19). It was also Manny's 40th multi-homer game.

That should silence anyone silly enough to think Manny was in some kind of prolonged slump. "They're thinking about sending me to Pawtucket," Ramirez joked to the Globe before the game. Tito: "If that's our biggest concern - Is Manny going to hit? - we're going to be in pretty darn good shape."

Matt Clement pitched seven strong inning, showing much better control than in his previous two starts. He threw only two balls to the first eight hitters in the Tampa lineup -- and one of those was his first pitch of the game. He allowed seven hits -- three in a row scored Tampa's first run in the second -- and struck out six.

At the bottom of Tampa's lineup, Alex Gonzalez went 4-for-4. The 7-8-9 spots in the order collected seven of Tampa's 10 hits. ... The Red Sox are the only team that has not allowed a first-inning run. ... Bob Hohler looks at the rampant use of amphetamines.

Baltimore battered New York's bullpen in a five-run seventh yesterday, beating the Yankees 7-6. New York has lost five of its last six games and shares last place with the Devil Rays. Both teams are 4-7.

Tim Wakefield / Scott Kazmir at 2:00. Wakefield needs four strikeouts to pass Cy Young for third on the all-time Red Sox list (he has 1,338 now).

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