Hanley Ramirez Surprised Red Sox Grand Slam Bid Didn’t Leave Ballpark


PHILADELPHIA — Wednesday’s game against the Phillies was Hanley Ramirez’s 58th career contest at Citizens Bank Park. He is very familiar with how the ballpark plays.

So, when Ramirez crushed an 0-1 slider from Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon to left field with the bases loaded in the eighth inning of the Red Sox’s 4-2 loss, the Boston slugger initially thought it was going to leave the yard for his second grand slam in as many games.

“I knew that I hit it good,” Ramirez said. “I got the barrel on it. But I was kind of a little behind.”

Ramirez’s go-ahead grand slam bid was knocked down by the howling wind on a raw night in Philly. Ben Revere caught it about three feet in front of the left field wall to end the Red Sox’s bases-loaded threat and pave the way for the Phillies’ first win of 2015.

Ramirez, a frequent visitor to Citizens Bank Park during his days in the National League with the Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers, could do nothing but shrug his shoulders after Wednesday’s game. He had never seen a ball die so abruptly in the outfield in Philadelphia.

“No, seriously, that’s the first time,” Ramirez said. “But like I said, I can’t control that.”

Balls died all night at The Bank, where the game time temperature was 40 degrees. It was wet, windy and gross, and the difference ended up being a three-run homer that Jeff Francoeur managed to put enough oomph behind in the sixth inning.

“We hit a few balls to left field that got knocked down,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “A timely one by Hanley unfortunately gets knocked down by the wind. He got a breaking ball off of Papelbon that he squared up.

“But (Mookie Betts’) ball to lead off the game (died), (Mike) Napoli hit another ball good to left field. But still, these conditions, that’s part of the game.”

Ramirez isn’t hanging his head despite the near-miss. He went 0-for-4 on Wednesday after blasting two home runs in Monday’s season-opening win, but his focus already has shifted to Thursday’s series finale.

“It’s what we’re here for,” Ramirez said of his pressure-packed, eighth-inning at-bat against Papelbon. “When that situation comes, I’ve got to come through.

“Unfortunately it didn’t happen tonight, but we’ve just got to win the series (Thursday).”

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@IvinsImages

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