BOSTON -- First, Hanley Ramirez had to start seeing the ball better and fix his timing. And once that started happening, he knew there was soon to be a moment like the one that happened Wednesday night, when the first baseman sent a three-run rocket soaring on to Lansdowne Street
BOSTON -- First, Hanley Ramirez had to start seeing the ball better and fix his timing. And once that started happening, he knew there was soon to be a moment like the one that happened Wednesday night, when the first baseman sent a three-run rocket soaring on to Lansdowne Street to help lead the Red Sox to a 6-4 victory over the Orioles.
With the win, Boston moved back into a tie for first place in the American League East with Baltimore. To have that type of early-season success without much offense from Ramirez can only be construed as a good sign for the Red Sox.
The blast snapped a 110-at-bat homerless drought.
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Unlike last year, when Ramirez's declining offense was mostly attributed to injuries, his struggles in the last few weeks seemed entirely mechanical.
The way Ramirez is starting to swing the bat, it looks like his swing is fixed.
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For Wednesday's mammoth shot, he stayed back perfectly on an 82-mph slider by Kevin Gausman in the third inning to stake his team to a 6-0 lead.
"I've been working on my timing, trying to stay back and use more of my hands," said Ramirez. "Even [manager] John [Farrell] asked me, 'Were you sitting breaking ball?' I said, 'No.' He said, 'Wow.''
Ramirez has been around long enough to have a sense of when he's about to get hot.
"Yep," said Ramirez. "Get your ticket -- first class. It's about to get hot."
This marked the fifth straight game Ramirez has drawn a walk, the best such streak by any Red Sox hitter this season, and a sign that he is picking out the right pitches.
"I know I've been feeling better and better and better every day at the plate and that's it, just feeling good and seeing the ball better," Ramirez said.
In the fifth spot in the batting order behind Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz, Ramirez could see his RBI total spike quickly if he gets going.
"We're just seeing more consistent timing and swing path probably the last five to seven days," said Farrell. "Hopefully he's turning the corner."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.