One-handed Ramirez swings Sox to victory

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BOSTON - How's your golf game? Don't answer that.

It's unlikely Hanley Ramirez gets out on the links often (though one former Red Sox pitcher would argue that his off-days are his off-days) but he had quite the drive on Sunday.

Ramirez put the Red Sox ahead for good in the 7th inning when he golfed a two-run home run over the Monster in left field.

Ramirez not only golfed it, but did so with one hand, showcasing his power on that one swing. And with it, the Sox took a 5-4 lead that wouldn't change.

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"Obviously a timely two-run homer by Hanley," John Farrell said. "He gets a changeup out front that he hits with one hand. But you look at the 11-pitch at-bat [with David Ortiz] prior to Hanley may have taken a little bit out of [Tony] Sipp in that moment.

Ramirez admitted that he's had a couple one-handed home runs in the past, but it doesn't happen often. He credited his follow through - and the fact that he works on it often - for launching the ball that distance.

"I think it just tells you how strong he is," Farrell said. "Once he gets the barrel of the bat, even the first at-bat in this series, he drives the ball out of the ballpark on Friday night. Still, when he's able to make solid contact, he's got the ability to drive the ball out of any park. But even if he is fooled, because his plate coverage is so good, he's able to give us a lead and a big one at that."

It was Ramirez's 18th home run of the season, and sixth go-ahead home run of the season (two against the Astros). And nobody currently in the Majors has had more success against the Astros than he has, as he's hit .367 (66-for-180) in 44 games against them (min. 150 plate appearances).

"I saw a couple changeups and I just figured he was going to throw another one," Ramirez said of the home run. "I tried to wait on it but like I said I put a good follow through."

Ramirez played DH on Sunday, as Alejandro De Aza took over in left field and David Ortiz at first base. Ramirez is 9-for-27 with five home runs and 10 RBI in seven games as a DH this season, but Farrell said not to expect to see him at the DH spot often with Ortiz the team's everyday DH.

That's fine by Ramirez, who is just happy to be in the game.

"It don't matter, I just want to be in the lineup and keep winning," Ramirez said. "I think we're playing pretty good baseball right now."

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