Fenway Park explodes after Hanley Ramirez blasts his third homer of the night Wednesday against the Giants. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)
Hanley Ramirez gave the Red Sox a night to remember on an evening Drew Pomeranz hopes to forget.
Ramirez delivered the first three-homer game of his career and made a trio of outstanding defensive plays to overcome an absolute implosion by Pomeranz in his debut as the Red Sox claimed a wild 11-7 victory over the Giants in a possible World Series preview.
Ramirez hit homers to right, center, and left while driving in six runs. His final homer came two innings after he appeared to vow, “I’ll get you back,” to Giants reliever Albert Suarez, who drilled him in the fourth. He also made the defensive play of the game, starting a 3-2 double play with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth inning of an 8-7 game.
This one had a little bit of everything. The Red Sox raced to an 8-0 lead on Ramirez’s first two homers and a two-run blast by Travis Shaw.
Pomeranz, who was clean through the first three innings, fell apart in the fourth. He failed to retire any of the seven batters he faced and was lifted after allowing a three-run homer to Mac Williamson and a two-run shot to Trevor Brown.
The Red Sox bullpen did just enough from there, though it wasn’t easy. Robbie Ross, Heath Hembree, Tommy Layne, Matt Barnes, and Brad Ziegler combined to allow seven hits but only two runs over the final six innings, helped immensely by some huge defensive plays, none bigger than Ramirez’s with the bases loaded and Barnes pitching in relief of Layne.
The game was played before a raucous crowd of over 38,000, split seemingly 50-50 between Red Sox and Giants fans.
Brock Holt continues to make an impact. He recorded two hits as the Red Sox improved to 31-13 in games he has appeared in, and 28-11 in his starts.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— Hanley Ramirez played one of the games of his life. He not only hit three home runs for the first time in his career, but he made two diving plays at first base and also converted a first-to-home double play with the bases loaded and nobody out in the sixth to help the Red Sox maintain an 8-7 lead. He then blasted his third homer in the bottom of the frame to give the Sox a 10-7 lead.
— Reliever Matt Barnes escaped a huge jam in the sixth, entering with the bases loaded and no outs of an 8-7 game. He induced a first-to-home double play by Gregor Blanco, and then popped Conor Gillaspie to Ramirez in foul territory. Barnes went three scoreless innings with two strikeouts and was awarded the win on the discretion of official scorer Mike Shalin.
— Travis Shaw blasted his 11th homer of the season and fourth in last 15 games with a mammoth shot to right off of Matt Cain. He also made a nice catch battling a fan for a foul ball to end the fifth with two on.
— Slumping shortstop Xander Bogaerts went 2-for-5 to record just his second multi-hit game of the month and third since June 23.
— Sandy Leon is a monster. He tripled and homered to raise his average to .435.
— Right fielder Mookie Betts recorded at least three hits in a game for the ninth time this season.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— Not sure what that was from Pomeranz in his Red Sox debut, but it was ugly. After three relatively clean innings to open the game, Pomeranz imploded in the fourth. Staked to an 8-0 lead, he allowed all seven batters he faced to reach, served up two home runs, and got yanked with the Red Sox leading 8-5. It was his shortest and worst start of the season.
— Relievers Heath Hembree and Tommy Layne combined to allow five hits and a walk while recording just one out between them. They were lucky only to be charged with one run, mainly because Barnes saved Layne with the double play started by Ramirez.
— Red Sox pitchers allowed 15 hits.