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Hanley becomes Bruins fan overnight

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

TORONTO -- The Red Sox were hard to miss at Monday night's Bruins-Maple Leafs playoff game in Toronto. Nearly the entire team attended the event, and nobody was more enthusiastic about it than Hanley Ramirez, who wore a Bruins jersey during the team's eventual 3-1 loss that set up a Game 7 in Boston on Wednesday.

Ramirez has his own game to play in Toronto on Wednesday, but he'll be with the Bruins in spirit.

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TORONTO -- The Red Sox were hard to miss at Monday night's Bruins-Maple Leafs playoff game in Toronto. Nearly the entire team attended the event, and nobody was more enthusiastic about it than Hanley Ramirez, who wore a Bruins jersey during the team's eventual 3-1 loss that set up a Game 7 in Boston on Wednesday.

Ramirez has his own game to play in Toronto on Wednesday, but he'll be with the Bruins in spirit.

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"That's Boston right there. We support each other. It's a champions' city," Ramirez said. "Game 7 tomorrow and I can't wait. Everybody is going to be watching. I think it's going to be the same time we are going to be playing, but we're going to have it [on] in the clubhouse and be supporting them."

Tweet from @HanleyRamirez: Enjoying a session of post-Manaea group therapy lmao 🤣#GoBruins 🏒🥅 pic.twitter.com/rRYeo8zI4s

It was the first hockey game Ramirez has seen live.

"First time in my life and I loved it," said Ramirez. "The passion. Everyone is really into it. Every shot. Every glove from whatever you call him -- the goalie. It was fun."

Manager Alex Cora had originally thought that Monday's road off-day would be a good opportunity for a team dinner. But he was happy to adapt with the gift the hockey schedule provided.

It was another example of the strong chemistry the Red Sox have built during the early part of the season.

"That's what it's all about," Ramirez said. "It happened organically. It's cool, it's great. I follow them on social media. You see the pictures and how much fun they had, that's what it's all about. This is such a long season that there's going to be times that there's going to be cool stuff going on in the cities we go, or even in Boston. They should enjoy them."

One of the funniest images to emerge on social media was catcher Christian Vazquez offering Ramirez a bite of his ice cream bar, and Ramirez dramatically turning his nose at it. The first baseman has been going with the TB12 diet, which didn't offer many options for him at the hockey game.

"There was a lot of ice cream, chicken wings, quesadillas. It was pretty good food, but not for me," Ramirez said.

Tweet from @AndrewFrates_: .@HanleyRamirez staying strong on that @TB12sports diet pic.twitter.com/36ZgbEt7GJ

Ramirez does have a prediction for Game 7.

"Oh, Bruins," Ramirez said. "Playing in Boston. House of the pain."

Cora sticking with catching duo

Though Christian Vazquez and Sandy Leon are both struggling at the plate, Cora doesn't sound as if he is contemplating giving Blake Swihart starts at catcher. Swihart is on the team as a utility player and has started only two of the team's first 22 games -- both at DH.

"The thing with Christian, earlier in the season he was hitting the ball hard, he was hitting line drives all over the place where they were at," said Cora. "And all of a sudden he is chasing hits. And for a guy like him, his hand-eye coordination is unreal so you start chasing pitches and chasing hits and they're going to induce you to weak contact, and that's what's going on with him.

"With Sandy, we understand that he's not playing every day. It's tough to get a rhythm, but as long as he puts together competitive at-bats, we're good with that. And obviously what he does behind the plate, that's good enough."

Thornburg ahead of schedule

Cora continues to be enthused by the progress righty reliever Tyler Thornburg is making. The righty, who has been pitching in extended spring training, will check in with the Red Sox at Fenway Park this weekend. Shortly after that, he could start his Minor League rehab assignment for an affiliate.

"Tyler is going to get evaluated this weekend and is probably going to throw a live [bullpen session] and then we go from there, but it looks like he may be going on a rehab assignment sooner -- sooner than what we thought he would be," said Cora.

Thornburg underwent surgery to repair thoracic outlet syndrome in his right shoulder and has yet to throw a pitch for Boston in a regular-season game since the club acquired him in December of 2016.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Hanley Ramirez