Hanley Ramirez, Red Sox crush A’s – Boston Herald

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His defense in left field has been forgotten. The transition to first base is done. Hanley Ramirez is becoming an impact hitter in the Red Sox lineup again.

Last night, Ramirez took a swing so smooth, hit a ball so hard and watched it travel so far that Mookie Betts said he’ll never be able to match the feat. Ramirez was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer he launched 468 feet to left-center — the second-longest in the majors this season — leading the red-hot Sox offense to another convincing performance, a 13-5 win against the Oakland A’s at Fenway Park.

David Ortiz had the night off, but the Sox scored 13 or more runs in back-to-back games for the fourth time this millennium.

“It’s something very, very special right now,” Ramirez said. “Not only one guy. From the top all the way to the bottom to the pitcher, everybody.”

That’s 11 straight games in which the Red Sox have gone deep, their longest streak since they homered in 12 straight in 2011. A little more than two weeks ago, the Sox had more stolen bases than homers. With three long balls last night, they’ve homered 24 times in their past 15 games, most in the American League.

Ramirez has three homers in his past seven games, including his tape measure shot last night.

“Only one or two people could do that type of thing,” Betts said. “(The Miami Marlins’) Giancarlo Stanton is about the only one that I know could maybe hit a ball farther.”

Betts was correct. Stanton’s 475-foot blast Friday is the only one longer this year.

Betts started the onslaught with a leadoff homer against A’s starter Sean Manaea, his fifth of the season. Three batters later, Ramirez cracked one that might have been heard in Watertown. A 94 mph fastball was low and outside, and Ramirez smoked it into the light tower in left-center.

“Not much doubt,” manager John Farrell said.

A year after hitting 10 homers in April, Ramirez hit just one in the first month this year.

“I keep telling him every day, ‘You’re going to get hot, you’re going to get hot, just stay where you are,’ ” Sox hitting coach Chili Davis said. “ I love the way he’s swinging right now. He’s getting the pitches he didn’t get to last year. He’s driving them.”

The Sox scored five in a lengthy third inning when Betts, Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts, Ramirez and Chris Young strung together hits. Two batters later, Travis Shaw hit a one-out double to right field that scored two. Shaw finished 3-for-5 with a homer and five RBI.

But it was Ramirez’ impact that the Red Sox have been longing for since he ended last year with a .249 average and .717 OPS, one of the worst seasons of his career while failing miserably as an outfielder.

“It probably has to do with the infield stuff,” Bogaerts said. “He’s used to being engaged all the time. Sometimes I go shagging out there (in the outfield) and I’m like, ‘This is so boring back here, bro.’ I wouldn’t even want to do something like that.

“He’s doing great for us. That’s the kind of player that they expected to get once they signed him. I mean he’s been nothing but fabulous for us this year.”

The Sox added three runs in the fifth and two in the seventh.

Making a spot start, journeyman Sean O’Sullivan held the A’s scoreless until the fifth, allowing four runs in six innings of work.

Ramirez said he knew the power was coming, but with a contact-first mentality and shorter swing, he wasn’t worried about it.

“I’d rather hit for average than hit with the long swing and a lot of home runs,” Ramirez said. “I want to be around everything, average and homers and RBI.”

Hanley Ramirez, Red Sox crush A’s – Boston Herald