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Hanley Ramirez returns to Boston for MRI on hand

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Red Sox left fielder Hanley Ramirez, who will miss his fourth game Sunday since being struck in the left hand by a line drive off the bat of teammate Xander Bogaerts last Wednesday, is being sent back to Boston for an MRI exam.

Earlier tests had shown no structural damage, according to the club, but Ramirez will undergo further testing because he is "not progressing as we anticipated, particularly over the last 24 to 48 hours,'' manager John Farrell said.

A trip to the disabled list seems likely for Ramirez, who leads the club in home runs (15) and RBIs (38). After hitting 10 home runs and 22 RBIs in the season's first month, Ramirez has a slash line of .278/.324/396/.721 in 46 games since.

He has had only three multi-RBI games since May 1 after having six in April.

Ramirez missed three games with a sprained left shoulder after running into the padded side wall at Fenway Park in pursuit of a line drive on May 4. He returned to the lineup on May 9 and had just one hit in 15 at-bats as the shoulder clearly still bothered him.

News accounts last week reported Ramirez was injured on a hit-and-run play, but there were two strikes on Bogaerts -- a count that teams don't employ hit-and-runs -- and Ramirez was running on his own.

With Dustin Pedroia already on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, Ramirez had vowed to return as quickly as possible.

"We can't have both of us out of the lineup,'' he said.

The Red Sox have lost two of the three games they have played without both players.

"I think at this time tomorrow we'll get a better read on his roster status and exactly if there's anything in addition to what was determined with the CT scan and the X-ray,'' Farrell said Sunday.