BOSTON -- As he walked onto the field during pregame introductions at Fenway Park on Sunday, Hanley Ramirez carried a green flag bearing a shamrock and the words "Believe in Boston."He continued to stoke that belief with his bat, delivering a four-hit, three-RBI performance that helped the Red Sox stave
BOSTON -- As he walked onto the field during pregame introductions at Fenway Park on Sunday, Hanley Ramirez carried a green flag bearing a shamrock and the words "Believe in Boston."
He continued to stoke that belief with his bat, delivering a four-hit, three-RBI performance that helped the Red Sox stave off elimination with a 10-3 win over the Astros in Game 3 of the American League Division Series presented by Doosan.
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Ramirez became the sixth player in Red Sox history to collect at least four hits and three RBIs in a postseason game and the first since David Ortiz in Game 3 of the 2004 ALDS.
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"The Red Sox, it's an unbelievable team, and it's a winning team," Ramirez said. "It's about winning here. This attitude we have -- everybody here wants to win and we just tried to continue that legacy to keep going on this team, to keep it going. There's a lot of young guys here that are going to play here for a long time, so just trying to wake everybody up."
After producing an opposite-field single in the second, Ramirez lined his second single over the head of Astros left fielder Marwin Gonzalez to score Mitch Moreland from second and trim Houston's lead to 3-2 in the third. The hit also set up Rafael Devers' go-ahead two-run homer, which gave the Red Sox their first lead of the series.
With the Red Sox clinging to a 4-3 lead, Ramirez came through again with the bases loaded in the seventh, doubling into the left-center-field gap to knock in two runs and ignite a six-run inning that broke the game open for Boston.
"When Hanley is on base, the team is always active because he is one of the biggest pieces on the team," Devers said in Spanish.
Ramirez began Game 1 on the bench after the Red Sox opted to go with the hobbled Eduardo Nunez at designated hitter, but Nunez aggravated his right knee injury in his first at-bat of the series, opening the door for Ramirez to replace him. Ramirez has made the most of his opportunity, going 6-for-10 with two doubles and three RBIs over the first three games against the Astros.
The 33-year-old veteran is now batting .373 (25-for-67) in 19 career playoff games.
"He's had big career numbers in postseason," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "But he is swinging the bat ... like he's certainly very capable. Today it was not only a big day for him, but when he has been in the middle of our offense, we're a completely different offensive team when he's swinging the bat as he did today."
Maria Guardado is a reporter for MLB.com.