BOSTON -- Instead of getting mad, Hanley Ramirez got even. After Giants right-hander Albert Suarez drilled Ramirez with a fastball in the fourth inning, Ramirez had his fun with some old fashioned sweet revenge during the Red Sox's wild 11-7 win over the Giants on Wednesday.
In the sixth inning, Suarez gaped from the hill as Ramirez crushed his third two-run homer of the night. It was the first time in Ramirez's career that he hit three homers in one game.
"Every time I get hit, that fires me up," said Ramirez, who, along with his teammates, were clad in the throwback Red Sox uniforms from 1975. "I think it makes me a better player when I get hit, because I get so angry. You know, sometimes Hanley's just not Hanley. It's somebody else."
When asked if he said, "I'll getcha back," to Suarez after getting hit by a pitch in the fourth, Ramirez wholeheartedly laughed before refusing to confirm or deny the comment.
"Don't ask me that," Ramirez said. "That's a secret."
The win was especially sweet, as the Red Sox reclaimed first place in the American League East by a half-game.
The first of the trifecta was a mammoth homer against righty Matt Cain in the second, scoring David Ortiz. That wasn't enough for Ramirez, as he homered again an inning later, this time driving in Xander Bogaerts.
"That was the Hanley we saw in Florida, probably [2006, 2007 and 2008]. He had a big night," Cain said.
Ramirez's third time at the dish was the hit-by-pitch to his left elbow. As soon as Suarez hit him with a 91-mph sinker, Ramirez had only one game plan for his next at-bat.
"I was trying to hit a homer," Ramirez said. "I was trying to go to the moon."
Ramirez wrapped up his monstrous offensive night going 3-for-4 with three runs and six RBIs, a career high for the 32-year-old. No player had homered three times in a single game against San Francisco since the Astros' Morgan Ensberg on May 15, 2005.
But Ramirez wasn't just swinging his bat well -- he was flashing his glove, too. The first baseman made a series of outstanding plays against an aggressive San Francisco order. He dove left, right and sideways to continuously halt the Giants from recording hits.
Ramirez's most crucial defensive play of the game came in the sixth inning. With right-hander Matt Barnes on the mound, Ramirez helped to escape a bases-loaded, nobody out jam with a 3-2 double play before ending the frame by catching a pop up in foul territory.
"Hanley's performance tonight was incredible," Barnes said. "To hit three home runs and six RBIs and then make that play defensively in the sixth, it was awesome."
Before Ramirez stepped up to the plate in the eighth for his final at-bat, the Red Sox dugout wanted just one more thing from him before earning the win -- a fourth homer.
"Everybody was telling me, 'You gotta go for it,'" said Ramirez. "I was like, 'OK, fine.' I don't hit homers when I try and hit homers. They said, 'Doesn't matter, you have three already. Swing as hard as you can.' I told them, 'That's what I do every time.'"
Deesha Thosar is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.