Hanley Ramirez homered three times and drove in a career-high six runs and the Boston Red Sox held on for a 11-7 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night even though newly acquired starter Drew Pomeranz struggled to protect an eight-run lead.
Boston won for the eighth time in nine games and moved into first place in the AL East, a half-game ahead of the Baltimore Orioles.
Ramirez also reached base when he was hit by a pitch in the fourth, glowering at Giants reliever Albert Suarez before the umpire quickly warned both benches. With the crowd chanting Ramirez’s name for his final at-bat in the eighth, he grounded out weakly to the pitcher.
Ramirez began the day with eight home runs this season before connecting for his first three-homer game. He hit two-run drives in the second, third and sixth inning.
The major league record for home runs in a game is four. It’s been done 16 times, most recently by Josh Hamilton for Texas in 2012.
Travis Shaw and Sandy Leon also homered for Boston, and Mookie Betts had three hits.
Matt Barnes (3-3) was awarded the victory as the first effective Red Sox pitcher, coming on with a one-run lead and the bases loaded in the sixth and pitching out of it, helped by a nifty play from Ramirez at first base.
Barnes added a scoreless seventh, getting Brandon Belt on a check-swing strikeout with two on to end it, and a perfect eighth.
Pomeranz, who was acquired last week for top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza, lasted just three innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and two walks.
Giants starter Matt Cain (1-6) gave up three homers and five runs in 2 1/3 innings.
This week, the Giants made their first visit to Fenway Park since 2007 and just their second since the start of interleague play. They have never beaten the Red Sox at the century-old ballpark, with their last win at Fenway coming as the New York Giants against the Boston Braves in the 1912 World Series.
The crowd of 38,201 was a sellout and the highest of the season for the Red Sox. It was boosted by many in Giants orange — matching the 1978-82 throwback jerseys worn by the team; Boston wore the tops from its 1975 World Series team. The visitors managed to out-shout the home fans often, including in the fourth inning, when San Francisco scored five runs, and the fifth, when they added two more to make it an 8-7 game.
Trevor Brown had three hits for the Giants. Mac Williamson hit a three-run homer, and the San Francisco right fielder also went over the bullpen wall in pursuit of one of Ramirez’s homers.
Ramirez also made a few good plays in the field. He dove to his right to stop a line drive in the first inning, and made a play to his right on a hard grounder from Grant Green. Then, with the bases loaded in the sixth, he gloved a sharp grounder, stepped on first and threw home.
Leon spun and tagged Belt as he slid home. The umpire signaled out, and the call stood after Giants manager Bruce Bochy challenged it.
Giants: Hunter Pence (surgery on right hamstring) isn’t ready to resume rehab with Triple-A Sacramento. Bochy said “he’s got a chance to play” on Thursday.
Red Sox: Put RHP Koji Uehara on the 15-day disabled list with a strain of his pectoral muscle.
Giants: Off Thursday before opening a three-game series in New York against the Yankees.
Red Sox: Open four-game series against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway.
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