Hanley just misses out on hitting encore slam

Hanley just misses out on hitting encore slam

PHILADELPHIA -- As Hanley Ramirez took another big swing on Wednesday night in Philadelphia, it looked like he was about to become the answer to a trivia question that could live on in Red Sox lore for many years.

"Who was the first player in Red Sox history to hit a grand slam in the first two games of the season?" the question would have read.

But the drive to left-center in the top of the eighth inning -- which was struck better than the grand slam Ramirez actually did hit on Opening Day -- was knocked down by the wind on a frigid night. Ben Revere had it in front of the wall, and the Red Sox were on their way to a 4-2 loss.

"Yep," Ramirez said when asked if he thought he had a grand slam sequel. "The wind is something that I can't control. We've just got to come back tomorrow and get it."

If Ramirez's drive against Jonathan Papelbon had gone those extra few feet, he would have become the first player in Red Sox history to hit a grand slam in his first two starts with the club. Ramirez was a September callup for Boston in 2005, but he didn't start a game with his original franchise until this season.

"I knew that I hit it good," Ramirez said. "I got the barrel on it, but it was kind of a little bit higher."

Hanley's grand slam

In essence, it was a demonstration of how crazy baseball can be sometimes. The grand slam Ramirez hit Monday was on a broken bat. The drive on Wednesday was crushed.

"But I hit it a little bit towards the gap. It's a little bit deeper there," said Ramirez. "When the wind hits that scoreboard, it just ricochets back and brings everything back."

Despite the near miss on Wednesday, Ramirez looks forward to doing a lot of damage this season. And he relishes the chance to be at the plate with the game on the line.

"Oh, it's what we're here for. It's what I'm here for," Ramirez said. "It's why I'm hitting fourth. When that situation comes, I've got to come through. Unfortunately it didn't happen tonight, but we've just got to win the series tomorrow."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.