06/07/08 9:34 PM ET
Manny returns to lineup on Saturday
Slugger homers after sitting out Friday with sore right hamstring
By Mark Remme / MLB.com
Ramirez, who did not play in the team's 8-0 loss to the Mariners on Friday in order to rest his sore right hamstring, batted fourth in the batting order as the team's designated hitter.
"I thought yesterday did him some good," manager Terry Francona said. "He got a lot of treatment yesterday. He still feels it, but he's good enough to play."
Ramirez shined in his first at-bat, sending a deep fly over the Green Monster in left field during the first frame to give the Red Sox an early two-run lead.
Francona said Ramirez's return to left field is yet to be determined. He's held down the DH role since late May, both due to the hamstring soreness and David Ortiz's stint on the disabled list.
"He has to tell me he feels good enough to do that, and we'll do it," Francona said. "I told him that a week ago, 'We're not going to put you out there until you're ready.'"
Ramirez's return was not the only change to the team's lineup from Friday, which is nothing new considering the platoon managerial style Francona's used during this homestand due to injuries and ejections.
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia didn't start on Saturday as Alex Cora got the nod. Mike Lowell was scheduled to have the day off at third, but came on in the eighth to notch a two-run pinch-hit double.
"Just a day off," Francona said prior to the game. "I don't even know, a mental day; a day to play Cora. We'll put Pedey [Pedroia] in there later. Semi-day game after night game. We'll use our whole team."
What didn't change is the team's outfield tandem of J.D. Drew, Coco Crisp and Triple-A callup Brandon Moss. With Jacoby Ellsbury still recovering from a right wrist strain suffered in Thursday's contest with Tampa Bay, the team will look to stick with this outfield setup for the time being. Ellsbury came on in the eighth as a pinch-runner.
While Ellsbury said after Friday's contest that his wrist is feeling better each day, Francona said they're monitoring his progress and won't let him take batting practice until likely after Monday's off-day.
"I'm hoping I'll walk down there and [he'll] say, 'Hey, I'm great.' It may be realistic that it's Tuesday," Francona said. "Maybe because of the off-day Monday. We'll see."
Mark Remme is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.