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Hanley's hat trick powers Sox atop AL East

July 20, 2016

BOSTON -- Fenway Park was the place to be Wednesday night, with the Red Sox and Giants engaging in a classic slugfest while wearing throwback uniforms and fans of both teams trying to shout each other down.Ultimately, all that mattered was whose bat spoke the loudest, and that man was

BOSTON -- Fenway Park was the place to be Wednesday night, with the Red Sox and Giants engaging in a classic slugfest while wearing throwback uniforms and fans of both teams trying to shout each other down.
Ultimately, all that mattered was whose bat spoke the loudest, and that man was Hanley Ramirez, who belted three homers and collected six RBIs as the Red Sox prevailed, 11-7, and crept into the American League East lead by a half-game.
Boston roared ahead, 8-0, with three runs in the second inning and five in the third. Ramirez homered in each inning and Travis Shaw contributed a second-inning round-tripper.
Asked what he was thinking as his big night unfolded, Ramirez said, "I don't think. It just happens. Everyone was motivated in the dugout, all my teammates. That's a good thing to motivate your teammates."
The Giants trimmed the deficit to 8-7, the highlight being a five-run, fourth-inning outburst that featured Mac Williamson's three-run homer and Trevor Brown's two-run drive.

But the Giants, whose five-game losing streak matches a season high, couldn't sustain their momentum. Boston blanked them in the sixth after they loaded the bases with nobody out. The Red Sox capitalized as Ramirez drilled his final homer of the evening in the sixth and Sandy Leon added one in the seventh.
Drew's short debut: Despite having an 8-0 lead, Drew Pomeranz was incapable of earning a win in his Red Sox debut. The left-hander cruised through the first three innings only to give up five earned runs, including two homers, in the fourth. He lasted just three-plus innings before Red Sox manager John Farrell signaled the bullpen for reliever Robby Ross Jr., who gave up one run over 1 2/3 innings.

"I've faced these guys four times this year," Pomeranz said. "I was going along pretty good there through the three [innings]. I made some bad fastball location pitches and they made me pay for it."
Cain pitches, by the way:Matt Cain's first Giants start since June 13 was a rough one. Recovered from an injured right hamstring, the right-hander surrendered three homers, including Ramirez's first two, while being charged with five runs and six hits in 2 1/3 innings.
Nevertheless, Cain emerged from his outing believing that he "definitely had a lot of positives" that he could build upon.
"I had some breaking balls that I threw well and some fastballs I threw well," said Cain. "I made some mistakes in big situations and I have to push past those."
That included the pair of fastballs which Ramirez crushed for his first two homers. Cain admitted that both caught too much of home plate. During the team's losing streak, Giants starters have allowed 11 home runs in 24 1/3 innings.
"We have to cut down on some of these mistakes, because there's too many balls leaving the yard right now," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Barnes gets the win:Matt Barnes restored order to the Red Sox's bullpen by working a season-high three scoreless innings and receiving the decision.

"It's not easy, but it is kind of fun because of the excitement of it and knowing that you are coming through for your team and are able to pick up another guy in your bullpen," Barnes said.
The thrill of the yard: The Giants didn't win any games here, but they plainly enjoyed being at Fenway Park and absorbing its charming quirks and atmosphere. Both Williamson and Brown, for example, relished hitting homers at such a historic place. Brown called it "definitely a childhood dream come true." Williamson cited the red seat in the right-field stands that marks the site of Ted Williams' longest home run and the fact that Babe Ruth played here.

"Kind of a Houdini act by Barnes to get out of the sixth inning. A good heads-up play by Hanley to record the force at first, and then Sandy reacted accordingly. Just a big play to squelch an otherwise dire situation at that point." -- Farrell, on Boston thwarting the sixth-inning rally
The Giants requested a replay review at a crucial juncture, when pinch-hitter Grégor Blanco grounded into a double play with bases loaded and nobody out in the sixth inning. The double play was completed as Leon took Ramirez's throw and tagged out a sliding Brandon Belt at home. The Giants believed that Belt slid under the tag, but the call on the field stood.
Giants: San Francisco will observe its second scheduled off-day in four days on Thursday before beginning a three-game Interleague series against the New York Yankees on Friday at 4:05 p.m. PT.
Red Sox: Knuckleballer Steven Wright will make his 19th start of the season against Minnesota on Thursday. The right-hander has a 2.03 ERA in two career starts against the Twins, earning the win his last time out at Target Field. First pitch is 7:10 p.m. ET.
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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

Deesha Thosar is a reporter for based in Boston.