BALTIMORE - Manny Ramirez connected for career homer No. 500 as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Baltimore Orioles 6-3 on Saturday night, hitting a drive off Baltimore right-hander Chad Bradford to become the 24th major-leaguer to reach the milestone.
Ramirez drove the first pitch into the seats in right-center in the seventh inning. The Red Sox star watched the flight of the ball, then took off around the bases.
"As soon as I hit it, I knew it was gone," Ramirez said.
Ramirez was slow reaching the milestone. He hit No. 496 on April 19 and had only three in 34 games before Saturday.
This one, however, was worth the wait.
"It was great, especially since I've been trying so hard the past three weeks just to get it done," he said. "It finally came and I'm happy. I'm proud of myself, of all the things I've accomplished. Now I can go and have fun."
As he got to first base, Ramirez exchanged a high-five with coach Luis Alicea. He slapped hands with third base coach DeMarlo Hale, then hugged on-deck hitter Mike Lowell as he crossed the plate.