Ramirez was again batting third and playing left field for the Sox on Wednesday night in Baltimore. This, coming the day after manager Terry Francona revealed that the reason Ramirez was taken out of the final two innings of a nail-biting loss to the Blue Jays was for health reasons.
"He can manage it," Francona said. "I know it's been bothering him a little bit for a couple of days. Last year, it was his hamstring. Is it worth taking him out [of the lineup]? Probably not. I like having his bat."
The ailment certainly hasn't been bothering Ramirez at the plate, as he hit one of the most prodigious home runs in the history of Fenway Park in Tuesday's game, a shot that landed on the outskirts of a parking lot well beyond the Green Monster.
"[Tuesday] night before the game, he told me it was tight," said Francona. "I kind of said to him, 'Look, don't overdo it.' I thought on the double play [a 5-4-3 in the fourth inning] he was starting to show it a little bit. I would love for his bat to be in the lineup in the ninth inning."
Francona said he gave no thought to DH-ing Ramirez on Wednesday and having David Ortiz play first base.
Still awed: A day later, Ramirez's skyrocket against Roy Halladay was still a topic of conversation. Sox DH David Ortiz would have liked to have known what the estimated distance was. However, two seasons ago, the Sox stopped providing estimated distances of home runs at Fenway.
"They don't measure [stuff] at Fenway," said Ortiz. "As long as you don't hit that [ball] past Ted Williams, you're cool."
Ortiz was making a light-hearted reference to the legendary homer Ted Williams hit in right field at Fenway Park in 1946. That tape-measure shot is still recognized by a red seat in the bleachers, stationed in section 42, row 37.
In 2001, Ramirez hit a blast similar to the one he clubbed Tuesday, and it was estimated at 501 feet, which was, of course, a foot shorter than the estimate of the homer struck by Teddy Ballgame.
Mueller returns: Third baseman Bill Mueller, sidelined due to flu and sinus symptoms on Tuesday, returned to the lineup in his customary eighth slot.
"I think he's good enough to play," Francona said. "He wants to play. We'll let him run around. Hopefully he doesn't have any adverse reactions. He looks a lot better today."
Portland next up for Miller: Francona announced that the next stop on Wade Miller's Minor League rehab tour will be at Double-A Portland on Saturday afternoon.
Miller feels he's getting close to being activated, but suspects he'll need at least one more outing after Portland.
"I think it's just pitch count and getting my endurance up and making sure I can get up and down five, six, seven times in a game," Miller said. "Everything felt fine the last couple of times out. I'm going to move forward next time and probably get to 90 pitches."
After being sidelined by fraying in his rotator cuff last season, Miller feels his health is now far less of an issue than regaining his pitching form.
How did his arm recover from Monday's outing?
"Just a little muscle soreness. Good muscle soreness," said Miller.
Memorial service for Radatz: There will be a public memorial service for former Sox closer Dick Radatz on Saturday, April 30, at 11 a.m. ET. The service will be held at the Our Lady Help of Christians Parish at 573 Washington St. in Newton (one-third mile west of Newton Corner on Washington Street).
On deck: Matt Clement (1-0, 3.12 ERA) will close out this two-game series with the Orioles on Thursday night. Rodrigo Lopez (2-0, 2.66 ERA) will pitch for Baltimore.