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05/13/07 7:51 PM ET

Red Sox embrace pink on Mother's Day

Specially painted bats promote breast cancer awareness

BOSTON -- For the second Mother's Day in a row, Red Sox players brought an unusual fashion accessory to the diamond: pink bats.

They did not worry about colors clashing, or so it seemed. Every starter but two swung the rosy sticks, and most of the Baltimore lineup did as well. Boston's holdouts, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, wore pink wristbands.

Before Sunday's game, a pair of the bats rested against nearly every player locker. Fans curious about the existence of pink trees could rest easy knowing that the lumber was, in fact, painted.

More than 200 Major League players signed up to use the pink Louisville Sluggers in Sunday's games to help raise awareness of breast cancer. Select game-used bats, as well as team-autographed bats from every club, will be auctioned on MLB.com at a later date, with proceeds benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Fans can also purchase their own personalized pink bat at MLB.com or www.slugger.com, with Major League Baseball donating $10 from the sale of each to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

It was an especially significant occasion for backup third baseman Eric Hinske, who learned that he would get a full Mother's Day of at-bats to swing for his wife, Kathryn, on her first "pre-Mother's Day." She is pregnant with the couple's first child.

"It's pretty special," Hinske said.

Nevertheless, the Sox managed only three hits with the bats after being fooled by Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie for 8 1/3 innings. By the time they staged their ninth-inning comeback, most of the lineup had reverted to bats of the unpainted variety. But no need to panic, Hinske said.

"I think your mom will forgive you," he said.

Fifteen minutes after the game, the Red Sox opened the infield to mothers so they could run the bases with their children. As the rest of the crowd filtered in from the grandstand, a steady mass of people, young and old, circled the bases, seizing the moment.

Alex McPhillips is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.