"He went up to me on the plane and said, 'I'm ready, don't even ask. I'm ready,'" said Red Sox manager Terry Francona.
And just like that, Ramirez was in left field for just the second time since May 31.
Ramirez did start Friday's game in Cincinnati, but had to exit in the seventh inning with recurring tightness in the hamstring that limited him to DH duty on the last homestand.
No sooner had Ramirez returned to the lineup than first baseman Kevin Youkilis had to exit with muscle spasms in his mid back.
Though Youkilis was in Monday's lineup, he was scratched less than an hour before the first pitch. Jason Varitek moved up one spot in the batting order and hit sixth. Sean Casey replaced Youkilis at first base and batted seventh.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.