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GAME OF THE DAY

Red Sox get Ramirez back, move closer

September 26, 2007|From the Associated Press

BOSTON -- On a night of comebacks, the Boston Red Sox were most encouraged by the return of Manny Ramirez.

Ramirez singled in his first at-bat after missing 24 games, Kevin Youkilis came back from a seven-game absence and Curt Schilling won for the first time in more than a month as the Red Sox beat the Oakland Athletics, 7-3, Tuesday night.

And there was one more comeback left.

Less than an hour after the Red Sox finished, Tampa Bay's Dioner Navarro homered in the 10th to beat New York, 7-6. That lowered Boston's magic number to three to win the AL East for the first time in 12 years.

"When I went out for the fourth and I saw the Yankees had gone up 5-0, it was kind of, 'Hey, no margin for error now,' " Schilling (9-8) said. "I thought we did some good things after that."

Ramirez was sidelined by a strained muscle in his left side Aug. 28.

But in his first time up, he lined a single to right then scored on Mike Lowell's double, tying the score at 1-1 in the first inning.

Ramirez also walked to start a two-run fifth. He then left the game, as Francona had planned, when Brandon Moss came in as a pinch-runner.

Francona put Ramirez in the second spot in the lineup for only the seventh time in his 1,995 games to get him an extra bat he might not have had if he hit in his usual No. 4 slot.

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