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Sunday, June 1, 2008

It's Manny's World, We're All Just Living in it

Love him or hate him (and by now I think it's almost universal that all Red Sox fans love him), Manny Ramirez will go down as one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

Manny became the 24th player in MLB history to reach the 500 home run plateau last night as he connected on the first pitch off Orioles reliever Chad Bradford (a member of the 2004 Sox) for a 5-3 Boston lead.

The background story was that the Sox went on to win, 6-3. Last night was all about Manny though, who reached such a great accomplishment without the help of performance enhancers. The guy tirelessly works at his craft but is there any doubt that he was born to hit? He said after the game that he'd like to reach 600 and if Ken Griffey can (almost) do it with his crippled body, what's going to stop Manny?

Baltimore (26-28) jumped on top 2-0 in the second as Kevin Millar scored on Jay Payton's infield single and Adam Jones knocked in Ramon Hernandez with an RBI single.

The Red Sox (34-24) tied it in the third when Dustin Pedroia (2 hits) and David Ortiz (2 RBIs) connected on back-to-back shots off Orioles starter Greg Olson.

Brian Roberts put the Orioles ahead again with a solo shot in the fifth off Jon Lester before Jason Varitek (3 hits) tied it by plating Mike Lowell with an RBI single.

Ortiz put the Sox ahead for good with a sacrifice fly that scored Jacoby Ellsbury (3 stolen bases, hit, run, 2 walks) in the seventh. Ellsbury has 26 steals on the season and six in his last two games. You can start engraving his name on the AL rookie of the year trophy.

Kevin Youkilis scored on Coco Crisp's double play in the eighth.

David Aardsma (2-1) picked up the win after two scoreless innings, with two strikeouts. Hideki Okajima (who's been in a groove lately) pitched a scoreless eighth before handing it over to Jonathan Papelbon, who recorded his 16th save thanks to a clean ninth.

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