According to the Boston Red Sox, left fielder Hanley Ramirez has been diagnosed with a shoulder sprain after colliding with the left field wall in the top of the first inning.
Clay Buchholz was able to retire the first two batters he faced, but left a first-pitch 94-MPH fastball out over the plate to Tampa Bay Rays’ first baseman James Loney, which he promptly lined into the left field corner. Ramirez tracked down the ball, but was unable to hold onto it as he collided with the left field fence in foul territory. After retrieving the ball and firing it back to the infield, Ramirez dropped to one knee in obvious pain. Boston challenged the dropped ball, but the umpires upheld the call and Ramirez was charged with an error, which was later changed to a double for Loney.
Clay Buchholz would surrender two runs after nearly being out of the inning, and the Red Sox lost the series opener by a score of 5-1.
Allen Craig came into the game to replace Ramirez in left field, and went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts and three runners left on base.
Ramirez has had a history of health issues, and has already had a torn labrum in his left shoulder surgically repaired back in 2007, while he was a member of the Florida Marlins. He has missed significant time in three seasons, including playing in only 86 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2013.
The 31-year-old Dominican native leads the Red Sox with 10 home runs on the season, and is currently hitting .283/.340/.609 with 22 runs batted in over 24 games. For his career, Ramirez is a .300/.372/.502 hitter with 201 home runs and 671 RBIs.
The injury to Ramirez is a significant blow to the Red Sox, who signed the shortstop turned left fielder to a four-year, $88 million contract this past off-season.