BALTIMORE - Unsurprisingly, Hanley Ramirez was chosen as American League Co-Player of the Week Monday, sharing the honors with Oakland's Khris Davis.
In the past week, Ramirez hit .462 (12-for-26) with a double, five homers and 12 RBI. His walkoff homer Thursday gave the Red Sox a comeback win over the Yankees and in posting a sweep of the Yanks Sunday, Ramirez homered twice more while knocking in four runs.
It's been that kind of run for Ramirez, who has been scorching hot for the past few weeks.
"Simply put, he's been locked in for almost a month,'' said John Farrell. "When you think of the homers of late, the timeliness to them -- they come at critical junctures inside of a given ballgame -- and when you put him in the group, our lineup, he's making obviously had a major impact and he's given us a productive lineup almost one through nine.''
Ramirez has already tied a career high with 106 RBI and is five shy of his career-best 33 homers, set in 2008 while with the Marlins. Additionally, he leads the majors with a .678 slugging percentage and 1.104 OPS against lefthanded pitching.
"It's been pretty much a comeback year,'' noted Farrell.
What's most surprising, perhaps, is the power Ramirez has demonstrated. A year ago, Ramirez seemed enamored with Fenway's short dimension in left and attempted to pull everything. But shoulder injuries prevented him from doing that, and this season, the Sox emphasized that they wanted to see him take a more line drive approach at the plate.
"Hanley's gone through a number of adjustments offensively,'' said Farrell. "Coming in last year, there was a power-oriented approach, which meant some lift and separation to the pull side.
"(This year), the first half of the season, the power numbers weren't there. I think it was more just getting his base and his foundation back underneath him. And as he's been able to be confident and consistent with that, we're seeing a little more loft in the swing -- but not just to the pull side. And that's what allowed the home run totals to climb pretty rapidly here.''
Indeed, Ramirez leads of all of baseball in RBI since the All-Star break (58), with eight homers in his last 11 games, 11 in his last 18 and 12 in his last 21.