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Hanley ends homer drought with a bang

After 10 blasts in April, Red Sox slugger belts first long ball in May

ARLINGTON -- In April, Hanley Ramirez looked every bit like the player the Red Sox want him to be. He homered 10 times in the month, tying David Ortiz for a franchise record for most home runs before May 1.

In May, it's been a different story.

Ramirez, though, broke out of his power drought in Thursday's 5-1 win against the Rangers when he blasted an 0-1 pitch over the left-center-field wall for a sixth-inning solo home run, giving the Red Sox a 2-0 lead.

Ramirez finished 2-for-4 with the home run and a double. He said he spent time with manager John Farrell and Dustin Pedroia working on his swing in the cages before the game, and it made a difference.

"It happens," Ramirez said. "Sometimes you do things you don't realize you're doing."

For him, it was a needed turnaround. He entered this game homerless since April 29 and had only one RBI in May. He was hitting .210 for the month and needed a boost. On Thursday, Ramirez raised his overall batting average to .257 and might have made the adjustments needed to regain his productivity.

"Very encouraging," Farrell said. "I think he's kind of detected some things through video work with his stride direction. He was much more free, and the bat speed was improved. Good to see him square up a couple of balls, for sure."

Cody Stavenhagen is an associate reporter for
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