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Closing Time: Hanley Ramirez continues hot streak, Clay Buchholz picks up win as Red Sox beat Yankees 09.16.16 at 10:24 pm ET
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Hanley Ramirez homered again on Friday against the Yankees. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Hanley Ramirez homered again on Friday against the Yankees. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox appear to be in a good position for the final 15 games of the season.

Led by Hanley Ramirez and Jackie Bradley Jr. at the plate, and Clay Buchholz on the mound, the Red Sox beat Yankees 7-4 Friday night at Fenway Park.

They now lead the Yankees by six games in the AL East and Orioles by two games as they came from behind to beat the Rays. The Blue Jays are playing the Angels late on the West Coast.

The Red Sox carried over their momentum from Thursday night into the first inning on Friday as they scored two runs. David Ortiz had an RBI single off the Green Monster, but was thrown out at second base and then Ramirez singled up the middle to make it a 2-0 game.

“We came out aggressive, not only in terms of the way we swung the bats, but we pressed the issue on the bases,” manager John Farrell said. “It didn’t always work in our favor, but I think it set the tone early on. We were able to follow it up with some quality at-bats. [Luis] Cessa did settle down a little bit, but we had a couple of really good situation hitting opportunities. Travis [Shaw] with the sacrifice fly, Mookie [Betts] pushing a base hit through the right side, and David [Ortiz], Hanley [Ramirez], once again, the middle of that order has been powerful and it has been consistent.”

Ramirez kept his hot streak going as he crushed a solo homer in the fourth inning to almost the exact same spot as his walk-off on Thursday to put the Red Sox in front 3-0 at the time. Travis Shaw and Sandy Leon each added RBIs before Bradley Jr. hit a solo homer in the seventh.

Buchholz wasn’t perfect by any means, but was able to make key pitches when he needed to as he escaped a few jams. The right-hander went six innings and allowed two runs on seven hits, while walking two and striking out two. It was his seventh win of the year.

He’s given the team two outstanding starts in his last three outings with Steven Wright down and possibly out for the year.

“I don’t know that you can place a true value on it. He’s come up big,” Farrell said. “With the exception of one start, he’s been six innings and low runs, even no runs allowed. He looks comfortable on the mound. The pitching from the stretch has been a major adjustment for him to allow for some consistency, particularly with men on base. That’s where the location of pitches has probably its greatest meeting and that’s where it showed up here tonight.”

The Yankees went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Robbie Ross Jr. (2/3 of an inning), Brad Zieger (1/3 of an inning), Koji Uehara (one inning) were excellent in relief as they didn’t allow a run in two innings of work, but Fernando Abad had issues in the ninth as he allowed a two-run homer to Billy Butler forcing Craig Kimbrel to come on for the final two outs.

Closing Time note

Ramirez has six home runs in his last nine games, nine in his last 16, and 10 in his last 19.

Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox win.

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Read More: Clay Buchholz, David Ortiz, hanley ramirez, jackie bradley jr.
Rays reportedly not planning special ceremony to honor David Ortiz at 2:10 pm ET
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David Ortiz

David Ortiz

It’s been a tradition this season for teams to honor David Ortiz with a special pregame ceremony with gifts as a way to pay tribute to him during his final game in that particular city, as he is set to retire at the end of the this year.

This type of ceremony apparently won’t happen in one city in the American League East.

According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Rays aren’t planning any special ceremony, just a short video tribute to be shown prior to the second inning in next Sunday’s series finale. The story notes every team in the league has honored Ortiz to this point in the year with the exception of the Braves.

Even the Yankees are reportedly planning some sort of ceremony.

Rays officials declined to give a reason to Topkin for the story.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Read More: David Ortiz,
David Ortiz: ‘I’m not really focused on personal numbers, I’m focused on winning’ at 12:42 am ET
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David Ortiz passed Mickey Mantle on the all-time home run list on Thursday. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

David Ortiz passed Mickey Mantle on the all-time home run list on Thursday. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Prior to the Red Sox’ ninth inning comeback win over the Yankees, David Ortiz reached yet another milestone.

With his solo home run in the eighth inning, he surpassed Mickey Mantle for 17th on the all-time home run list, as he now has 537.

After the game, the slugger was asked what it was like to pass a legend like Mantle, but Ortiz said all he cares about is winning.

“I’m not really focused on personal numbers, I’m focused on winning,” Ortiz said. “We need to win right now. We need to do whatever it takes to win. The race right now is very close. Look at the standings, every one matters right now. It’s great to be part of the history, but right now I’m focused on winning.”

Thursday was one of the biggest wins of the year for the Red Sox as they scored five runs in the ninth inning against Yankees closer Dellin Betances to stun the Yankees 7-5, as Hanley Ramirez hit a two-out, walk-off three-run homer to dead-center field.

“Man, this game pretty much was on their side and it’s huge,” Ortiz said. “Hanley is a guy that — he has been doing some unbelievable things with the year he’s happening. You can’t ask for much more than that. He’s coming in every day to do something to make things happen. That’s how it is.”

With Ortiz starting the ninth inning rally with a two-out single for the third run, it was a similar feeling to the magic of 2004 when Ortiz had several clutch hits in the postseason.

“Our games against the Yankees are unbelievable games,” Ortiz said. “Coming from behind against a guy like Betances is huge. Betances is super nasty. He has some of the best stuff in the game. It’s big. It’s pretty big.”

The Red Sox now have a two-game lead in the AL East over the Orioles and a five-game lead over the Yankees with the Blue Jays sandwiched in the middle.

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Closing Time: Hanley Ramirez hits walk-off 3-run homer as Red Sox stun Yankees 09.15.16 at 11:06 pm ET
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Hanley Ramirez hit his sixth career walk-off home run as the Red Sox stunned the Yankees. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Hanley Ramirez hit his sixth career walk-off home run as the Red Sox stunned the Yankees. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

While Sunday’s back-and-forth battle with the Blue Jays was deemed the biggest win of the season, Thursday night might have topped it.

With the Red Sox trailing 5-2 entering the ninth inning, they scored five runs to stun the Yankees, 7-5.

With two outs and two on, Hanley Ramirez crushed a three-run homer to dead-center field off closer Dellin Betances to give the Red Sox a walk-off win.

The Yankees used two different pitchers — Tommy Layne and Blake Parker — before Betances entered the game with a runner on first and one out. David Ortiz got the rally started with a two-out RBI bloop single and then Mookie Betts singled home Xander Bogaerts to make it a 5-4 game.

A wild pitch set up second and third with two outs and Ramirez’s heroics came on a 3-1 count.

“I was trying to go to the moon,” Ramirez said. “That’s why I was sitting on a fastball the whole time. … Just stay back and let it rip.”

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez struggled as he allowed two runs in the first and then two more in the third before being lifted from the game. The left-hander departed after just 2 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits. He didn’t walk or strike out a batter. The 23-year-old didn’t have much command as most of his pitches were left over the plate and the Yankees bats took full advantage.

It was the third time in the last five games where the Red Sox starter has failed to make it out of the third inning.

“This turn through, it’s been less than,” manager John Farrell said. “We went a long stretch where our rotation has been very steady, very consistent and while the three guys have scuffled this last turn through, our bullpen has stepped up and just been dynamic. Tonight was a big lift. Each guy that came to the mound, they did their job, kept the game under control and fortunately we scored enough late to overcome it.”

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Read More: David Ortiz, eduardo rodriguez, hanley ramirez,
Red Sox notes: David Ortiz expected to play in every game rest of season at 5:17 pm ET
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David Ortiz

David Ortiz

Given his age and the long season, David Ortiz has needed a few down days along the way this year. Going into Thursday, the designated hitter has missed 11 games in total this year, but hasn’t started in a few more to later come in as a pinch-hitter.

Ortiz didn’t play (he pinch-hit once) in any of the three games in San Diego last week and it appears like that will be enough to make him available for the remaining 16 games of the season after Thursday.

“I’m sure there’s been some benefit to it,” manager John Farrell of the three games plus an off-day last week. “Any time this time of year a player regardless of who you are gets a little bit of a breather, it helps. I think there was some at-bats up in Toronto where he worked to get his timing back a little bit more sharp and consistent. Hopefully that set him up to be available every game remaining. No one wants to be out there daily more than David. We’ll take a step back if needed, but right now there is nothing to suggest he will need a day.”

Since the down time, Ortiz is hitting .240, but like Farrell said, it has taken some time to get his timing back. Farrell said Ortiz is feeling pretty good at the moment, but he will continue to check on him daily like they have all year.

“I think he feels — I can’t say as good as he has at any point in the season — but we had 23 games remaining after the Padres series,” Farrell said. “We do have a day off scheduled, [Sept. 26] in New York. I think that if the turnaround time of a given day — we have a couple of Sunday night games coming up that are going to present a little bit of a challenge, but as we’ve done all year that will be daily communication and we’ll work through it as best we can.”

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

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Read More: Brock Holt, David Ortiz, Koji Uehara,
Closing Time: David Ortiz victimizes Joaquin Benoit again as Red Sox claim wild win over Blue Jays, open 2-game lead 09.11.16 at 4:56 pm ET
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David Ortiz points skyward after hitting a three-run homer in Toronto on Sunday. (Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports)

David Ortiz points skyward after hitting a three-run homer in Toronto on Sunday. (Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports)

David Ortiz owns two career home runs against Joaquin Benoit. Red Sox fans will never forget the first. We may look back at the second as the biggest of this season.

Three years after his grand slam off of Benoit saved the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series against the Tigers, Ortiz once again victimized the reliever, this time blasting a three-run homer to erase an 8-7 deficit and propel the Red Sox to an 11-8 victory on Sunday that restored their two-game lead in the American League East.

The Red Sox finished a brutal nine-game road trip with a 6-3 record, including two of three in Toronto. When they left for Oakland last week, they trailed by two games in the division. Now they lead by two games. They begin a seven-game homestand against the Orioles and Yankees on Monday.

“The two things that come to mind, one, we never rolled over,” manager John Farrell told reporters in Toronto. “We kept grinding, kept finding a way to come back. Two, this was about one guy picking up another. Clay [Buchholz] exits early, we go to the bullpen, the offense climbs right back into it. Every out by guys coming out of the bullpen was key, all the way down to Noe Ramirez’s one out to set it up to piece together the fifth inning. Just a dramatic home run again from David, against Benoit, that, you know, a few years ago, there was another memorable one. This might not have been the same stage, but where we are against that team, really no less important.”

Ortiz’s three-run bomb in the sixth capped a wild back-and-forth contest that was billed as a pitcher’s duel but instead devolved into an old-fashioned Sox-Jays slugfest. It also brought back pleasant memories of 2013, when Ortiz’s Game 2 grand slam off of Benoit kept the Red Sox from returning to Detroit in a 2-0 series hole.

“A little bit, yeah,” Ortiz told reporters when asked if this homer reminded him of that one. “And I thought I was getting a different menu, but he threw me a hittable — I mean, it wasn’t that bad. It was in the bottom of the strike zone, right where the pitcher wanted to make that pitch. I guess I put a good swing on it.”

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Read More: Blue Jays, Clay Buchholz, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia
David Ortiz on Donald Trump’s comments about Latino immigrants: ‘When you speak like that about us, it’s a slap in the face’ 09.06.16 at 11:48 am ET
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David Ortiz

David Ortiz

Donald Trump might count Tom Brady among his friends, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be invited to David Ortiz’s retirement party.

In an interview conducted in Spanish with USA Today’s Jorge L. Ortiz, the Red Sox slugger — who normally avoids getting involved in politics — said Trump’s comments about immigrants hit a nerve with the Dominican Republic native.

Trump has said he wants to build a wall along the Mexican border to stop people from entering the United States illegally, and his famous remark that Mexico is sending rapists and criminals to the U.S. “didn’t sit well” with Ortiz.

“When you speak like that about us, it’s a slap in the face,” Ortiz said. “I walk around sometimes, and I see Mexican people trying to earn a living in an honest way. And to hear somebody make those kinds of comments, it hits you. I think as Latin people we deserve better. Things have gotten much better in that regard. … As Latin people we deserve respect, no matter where you’re from. And especially our Mexican brothers, who come here willing to do all the dirty work.

“Latin people here in the United States are the spark plug of the country’s economy. Whoever opposes that is going to lose. And not just Latin people but immigrants. I’m talking about people who come from Africa, from Asia, other places. All those people come here with one goal, to realize the American dream, and you have to include them in our group.”

On a more positive note, Ortiz said he is hoping to leave a legacy as a star who was always willing to help younger players.

“That matters to me more than any home runs I’ve hit. It may inspire some of the young players coming up to try to emulate the things I’ve done right,” Ortiz said, adding: “If [my sons] ever get up here [to the majors], I want people to say to them, ‘I knew your dad, and he was a guy with huge power. But there was something better about him. He was a good person, a good guy.’ That’s what I care about the most.”

Added Ortiz: “I like doing that. It’s my nature. When I see young guys put some advice you gave them into work and they’re doing well, it makes me feel like I accomplished something.”

Read More: David Ortiz, Donald Trump,
Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz sits, Drew Pomeranz gets start vs. former team as Red Sox reunite with Don Orsillo in San Diego 09.05.16 at 1:38 pm ET
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David Ortiz

David Ortiz

As promised by manager John Farrell, DH David Ortiz is out of the starting lineup vs. the San Diego Padres for Monday’s Labor Day matinee.

Ortiz will not start any of the three games in the National League Park, Farrell said, because it would require playing in the field, and the last time Ortiz did that — vs. the Dodgers — he ended up leaving the game early with soreness, which indirectly led to knuckleballer Steven Wright pinch running a day later and injuring his shoulder.

Monday’s game also represents Drew Pomeranz’s return to San Diego, where he made an All-Star team before being shipped to the Red Sox in July.

The game will also be a reunion with former NESN play-by-play man Don Orsillo, who now calls games for the Padres.

Here’s the lineup:

Dustin Pedroia 2B
Brock Holt LF
Xander Bogaerts SS
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Yoan Moncada 3B
Bryan Holaday C
Drew Pomeranz P

Read More: David Ortiz, Don Orsillo, Drew Pomeranz, Red Sox
Closing Time: Travis Shaw, Hanley Ramirez, David Ortiz, lead Red Sox to rout of A’s 09.03.16 at 1:37 am ET
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Red Sox third baseman Travis Shaw (47) celebrates with Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez (13) after smashing a three-run homer against the A's on Friday. (Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports)

Red Sox third baseman Travis Shaw (47) celebrates with Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez (13) after smashing a three-run homer against the A’s on Friday. (Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports)

Travis Shaw isn’t giving up his job without a fight.

Marginalized by the arrival of top prospect Yoan Moncada, Shaw responded with his fourth five-RBI game of the season by doubling twice and blasting a three-run homer to lead the Red Sox to a 16-2 victory over the A’s.

Shaw wasn’t the only offensive star of this one. Contributions came from up and down the order. David Ortiz (2-for-2) drove in three runs. Dustin Pedroia (2-for-5, 2 runs), Hanley Ramirez (2-for-4, 3 RBIs), and Sandy Leon (2-for-3) recorded multiple hits as the Red Sox pounded 17 hits total.

Even Moncada got in on the fun, walking in his first big league plate appearance and scoring on Shaw’s second double. He also made a nice play after entering as a defensive replacement at third base in the seventh, making a strong throw across the diamond.

All of that offense supported left-hander David Price, who picked apart the worst lineup in the American League over seven innings to win his fifth straight start and improve to 14-8 while lowering his ERA to 3.92. He allowed four hits and two runs.

Add it all together, and the Red Sox improved to 75-59 with 28 games remaining. They pulled within a game of the Blue Jays in first place in the American League East after Toronto fell to Tampa.

The Red Sox blew the game open in the fifth (4 runs) and sixth (6 runs), with Shaw’s three-run homer the big blow.

Before the game, manager John Farrell made it clear that Moncada will get most of the at-bats against right-handed pitching, with Aaron Hill playing against lefties.

“Where that puts Travis?” Farrell asked. “He’s not a forgotten guy, I can tell you that.”

On Friday night he made sure of it by going 3-for-6 with five RBIs. He also drove in five against the A’s on May 10 in Fenway Park. In the process, the Red Sox scored at least 13 runs against the A’s for the fourth time in four games this year.

Read More: A's, David Ortiz, David Price, Dustin Pedroia
Closing Time: Eduardo Rodriguez, Matt Barnes fall apart in 6th inning as Royals rout Red Sox 08.28.16 at 11:34 pm ET
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The Royals scored eight runs in the sixth inning to beat the Red Sox. (Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports)

The Royals scored eight runs in the sixth inning to help beat the Red Sox. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Shutdown innings are something to which the Red Sox play close attention. Unfortunately for the Sox and starter Eduardo Rodriguez, the sixth inning Sunday night wasn’t a good example of one.

After scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Red Sox took a 4-2 lead. However, that lead lasted all of half an inning as they allowed eight runs in the top of the sixth and the Royals ended up routing the Red Sox, 10-4.

Kansas City took two of three in the weekend series.

Rodriguez started the sixth inning by walking Eric Hosmer. Following a double and a walk, the Royals had bases loaded with no outs and the left-hander clearly was laboring. After getting a fly out, Rodriguez left the game with the bases still loaded. Unfortunately for him, reliever Matt Barnes couldn’t bail him out.

In fact, he did even worse.

Barnes pitched to five batters and didn’t record an out. He finished by allowing five runs on three hits with a hit batsman. The big blow was a bases-clearing triple from No. 9 batter Raul Mondesi. Robbie Ross Jr. eventually got out of the inning, but not before the Royals plated a season-high eight runs in the frame.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t go the way I would have hoped,” Barnes said. “I thought I made a good pitch to [Alcides] Escobar. He hit the 30-foot chopper and didn’t have a plan on anybody. Next hitter Mondesi, he jumped a first-pitch heater, and I went back and looked and I thought the pitch was to him maybe not a good pitch, but in the grand scheme I thought it was on the outer corner of the plate. Jumped a first-pitch heater. Let a couple of balls go. Didn’t think I threw terrible pitches, maybe a combination of bad luck and obviously they squared some balls up. That one is on me. I have to do a better job of securing that lead and getting out of that inning.”

In his first time back after being skipped due to hamstring tightness, Rodriguez finished the night going 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on four hits while walking four and striking out one. The four walks tied a season high.

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Read More: David Ortiz, eduardo rodriguez, matt barnes,
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