05/06/08 11:49 PM ET
Manny goes deep for No. 497
Ramirez follows Ortiz's shot, homers for first time since April 19
By Scott McNeish / MLB.com
He nodded his head, dreadlocks flapping behind him, and let out a shout.
That became Ramirez's career home run total after mashing a long home run in the seventh inning of Tuesday's 5-0 win over the Tigers at Comerica Park. The 35-year-old slugger needs three more home runs to become the 24th player in Major League history to join the 500-home run club.
He homered for the first time since bashing No. 496 on April 19, a 15-game homerless stretch. Though he has been in a minor slump of late, he looked much more comfortable at the plate on Tuesday.
After flying out to center in his first at-bat, Ramirez lined a tough fastball from Detroit starter Nate Robertson into left field for a single. Then in his next at-bat, he powered up a bit, roping a long single to left. He was seeing the ball well. One could almost sense his long ball was coming when the Tigers brought in reliever Freddy Dolsi to face him in the seventh. Dolsi was making his Major League debut.
Ramirez gave him a rude welcome. And it didn't take long.
Following David Ortiz's second home run in as many days, Ramirez launched Dolsi's first career pitch to center, the deepest part of the park and one of the deepest center-field fences in the Majors. Tigers center fielder Curtis Granderson sprinted back to the wall, stood in front of the 420 sign and looked up. The ball crashed into the bushes beyond the wall, an estimated 427 feet from home plate.
"It went a long, long way," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.
The home run also gave him 1,628 career RBIs, which ties him for 26th all-time with Harold Baines. Ramirez's 3-for-5 performance on Tuesday puts his batting average this season at .326, to go with seven home runs and 24 RBIs.
Scott McNeish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.