Big swing leads to early exit for Hanley

Big swing leads to early exit for Hanley

ST. PETERSBURG -- With the bases loaded, two outs and the Red Sox down four runs in the top of the sixth inning on Wednesday, Hanley Ramirez thought he had a great idea.

"Just trying to hit a grand salami," Ramirez said after Boston's 4-0 loss to the Rays. "Try and tie the game. I was trying to hit a home run. But he made a good pitch up and in, and I should have let up. I don't know why I swung."

The pitch that Ramirez was referring to? A high, first-pitch fastball by Matt Moore that Ramirez was trying to hit somewhere between the fish tank and the portion of the roof beyond the scoreboard in center field at Tropicana Field. Ramirez's helmet flew off and he lost his balance on the swing and miss.

The at-bat ended with Ramirez flying softly to right, and Boston's best threat of the day going by the board.

To make matters worse, Ramirez injured his right side on the first-pitch, overswing and exited the game in the bottom of the eighth. He hopes he'll be back in the lineup when the Red Sox return to action on Friday night against the Angels.

"Just, my side got really tight," Ramirez said. "I talked to [manager] John [Farrell], and we're just trying to prevent something big. He told me that, 'We're not going to put your season on the line. Take care of that and be ready to go Friday.'"

Ramirez has been hot of late, which perhaps made him emboldened enough to take such a big swing on Moore's fastball.

After the flyout to right, Ramirez slammed his bat down in frustration.

"My fly ball to right field, I was a little bit scared to swing. I was like, 'I don't want to take any risks.' It seems like every time you get locked in at the plate, something happens," Ramirez said. "Sometimes you get tired of that. Sometimes you've got to let it out."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.