BOSTON (AP) – Giants starter Matt Cain said he felt fine.
The results certainly didn’t look that way.
Cain gave up three homers in just 2 1/3 innings – two of them to Hanley Ramirez – as the Boston Red Sox completed a two-game interleague sweep over San Francisco, 11-7 on Wednesday night.
Making his first start after three rehab outings and missing 43 games with right hamstring injury, Cain retired the first three batters of the game before giving up three runs in the second and two more in the third.
Ramirez chased him with his second two-run homer – of three he had on the night – in the third. Travis Shaw had a solo shot in the second.
“It felt like it was coming out (of my hand) fine, just had some errant ones,” said Cain (1-6). “I had a lot of positives. I had some breaking balls I threw pretty good and some fastballs I threw pretty good.”
But he said one thing was certain.
“I made two mistakes right down the middle to Hanley,” Cain said.
This week, the Giants made their first visit to Fenway Park since 2007 and just their second since the start of interleague play. They have never beaten the Red Sox at the century-old ballpark, with their last win at Fenway coming as the New York Giants against the Boston Braves in the 1912 World Series.
“He looked good the first inning, stuff looked good. Just couldn’t keep the ball out of the middle of the plate,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Cain. “The long ball hurt us again tonight. We just can’t seem to keep the ball in the ballpark.”
Ramirez drove in a career-high six runs and the Red Sox held on even though newly acquired starter Drew Pomeranz struggled to protect an eight-run lead.
Boston won for the eighth time in nine games and moved into first place in the AL East, a half-game ahead of the Baltimore Orioles. The Red Sox had five homers in the game – Sandy Leon added a solo shot – after getting two in a 4-0 win Tuesday.
Ramirez also reached base when he was hit by a pitch in the fourth, glowering at Giants reliever Albert Suarez before the umpire quickly warned both benches. With the crowd chanting Ramirez’s name for his final at-bat in the eighth, he grounded out weakly to the pitcher.
Ramirez began the day with eight homers this season before connecting for his first three-homer game.
The major league record for home runs in a game is four. It’s been done 16 times, most recently by Josh Hamilton for Texas in 2012.
Matt Barnes (3-3) was awarded the victory as the first effective Red Sox pitcher, coming on with a one-run lead and the bases loaded in the sixth and pitching out of it.
Pomeranz, who was acquired last week for top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza, lasted just three innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and two walks.
The crowd of 38,201 was a sellout and the highest of the season for the Red Sox. It was boosted by many in Giants orange, matching the 1978-82 throwback jerseys worn by the team; Boston wore the tops from its 1975 World Series team. The visitors managed to out-shout the home fans often, including in the fourth inning, when San Francisco scored five runs, and the fifth, when they added two more to make it an 8-7 game.
Mac Williamson hit a three-run homer, over the Green Monster, and the San Francisco right fielder also went over the bullpen wall in pursuit of one of Ramirez’s homers.
“It’s kind of been a little dream of mine,” he said. “I think every kid growing up, playing in Fenway, would like to hit a ball over the Green Monster.”
Ramirez also made a few good plays in the field. He dove to his right to stop a line drive in the first inning, and made a play to his right on a hard grounder from Grant Green. Then, with the bases loaded in the sixth, he gloved a sharp grounder, stepped on first and threw home.
Leon spun and tagged Belt as he slid home. The umpire signaled out, and the call stood after Bochy challenged it.
Giants: Hunter Pence (surgery on right hamstring) isn’t ready to resume rehab with Triple-A Sacramento. Bochy said “he’s got a chance to play” on Thursday.
Red Sox: Put RHP Koji Uehara on the 15-day disabled list with a strain of his pectoral muscle.
Giants: Off Thursday before opening a three-game series in New York against the Yankees.
Red Sox: Open four-game series against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.