Brian Daubach, right, played in 137 games for the Red Sox in 2002, but now finds himself battling for a roster spot with the White Sox.
"We had a plan to pitch to him, but stay out of the center of
the plate," Royals manager Tony Muser said after Ramirez homered
with runners on second and third to help Boston beat Kansas City
8-4 Tuesday night. "It didn't work out." Brian Daubach had three hits, including a home run, and Nomar
Garciaparra and Jason Varitek also homered as Boston got 15 hits to
help Tim Wakefield (1-0) earn his first victory as a starter since
Aug. 4. In addition to his first home run of the year, Ramirez doubled
and reached on a two-base error. He entered with only two hits in
four games, though he was tied for second in the AL with six walks. "It's nice to see him get a couple of hits," Red Sox manager
Grady Little said. "They've been pitching him pretty tough. (He's
had) no pitches to hit." Starting because of injuries to John Burkett and Dustin
Hermanson, Wakefield struck out four and walked none. He allowed
three of his five hits in the fifth inning before Chuck Knoblauch's
grand slam cut the Boston lead to 5-4.
But the Red Sox answered with two more runs when Garciaparra
homered to lead off the bottom half and chase Dan Reichert (0-2).
Ramirez hit a 400-foot double, and Daubach hit a blooper less than
half that far that he stretched into a two-base hit.
Varitek homered leading off the sixth to make it 8-4, and Casey
Fossum and Willie Banks each pitched two hitless innings of relief
to close it out. Reichert allowed five earned runs on nine hits and two walks,
striking out one. Daubach homered to put Boston up 2-0 in the
second, then Johnny Damon beat out an infield hit and Garciaparra
doubled in the third. Ramirez took two balls before the count went to 3-2. He put the
next pitch in the seats to make it 5-0.
"It was my mistake, and I paid for it," Reichert said. "Manny
is one of the top hitters in the game, and I made a mistake in his
Wakefield bounced between the rotation and the bullpen last
year, when he went 9-12 with a 3.90 ERA. He pitched once in relief
this year in a game that was wiped from the books because of rain. He is expected to start again against the New York Yankees on
Sunday. Wakefield had allowed only an infield hit to Joe Randa before
Randa reached on another infield hit to open the fifth. Raul Ibanez
singled and, one out later, Carlos Febles singled to load the
bases. Knoblauch followed with a 362-foot fly that dropped into the
screen above the Green Monster, carried by a 23 mph wind. It was
Knoblauch's fourth career grand slam, and first since Aug. 13,
Kansas City played with only 24 active players, waiting
until Wednesday to activate pitcher RHP Nate Field. ... The Red Sox
announced they will make up an April 3 rainout with a day-night
doubleheader against Toronto on July 2. ... Royals RHP Roberto
Hernandez will miss another 3-to-4 weeks because doctors are
concerned that the inflamed tendon in his right elbow might be
torn. He will not throw at all for 10 days to two weeks, manager
Tony Muser said. Hernandez is scheduled to see Dr. James Andrews on
Wednesday. ... Randa stole his first base of the season. ... The
Royals (2-4) have not posted a winning record in April since 1989.
... Boston has outhomered its opponents 13-3 in the first five