Just before last night's first pitch, Manny Ramirez stood in front of the Green Monster, holding up a homemade sign: "The New Episode ... 'Manny Being Manny.'"
Later in the game, Ramirez homered, giving him an AL-leading 29 home runs and 97 RBI (in 98 games). Manny has hit seven homers in his last 14 games. David Ortiz: "That's him, man. That's the Manny everybody knows. That's Manny being Manny." ... In the top of the ninth, Ramirez gave the sign to someone in the stands.
Tim Wakefield pitched seven innings and retired 18 of his final 20 batters. The victory was his 124th as a Sock, giving him sole possession of third place in team history. Only Cy Young and Roger Clemens have more (192 each).
Jon Papelbon was sent back to Pawtucket and will begin pitching out of the bullpen. ... Theo Epstein: "He's going to pitch a little bit earlier in the game. He's going to go one inning. He's going to go two innings. He's going to back-to-back [days]."
Francona: "In Fort Myers this spring, Theo and I were sitting around, and he said the best-case scenario is this guy burns through Double A, goes to Triple A, and comes up and helps us in the bullpen. He's just about reached the number of innings we'd like to see for him this season as a starter. Rather than go out and trying to trade for people, why not try this? This is not long-term. He's a starter. But development-wise and competing-wise, it makes sense for everybody. This isn't something that happened overnight. This has been talked about for a while."
Mark Bellhorn went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in his second rehab game with Pawtucket. In two games, he's 0-for-8 with four strikeouts. ... Sigh, looks like he hasn't missed a beat.