Manny Ramirez homers on first pitch in Dominican debut

Manny Ramirez of the Oakland Athletics poses for

Manny Ramirez of the Oakland Athletics poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. (Feb. 27, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

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SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Manny Ramirez homered on his first pitch of the Dominican winter league season.

Thousands of cheering fans stood and cheered as Ramirez came to bat in the bright yellow jersey of the Eagles, a team from the northern region of Cibao. Ramirez then drove his first pitch over the right-field fence.

The Eagles went on to lose Wednesday night's game 3-2 to the Escogido Lions.

Ramirez had last played in his Dominican Republic nearly 20 years ago. He served his second 50-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy last year, then was released from his minor league contract with the Oakland Athletics. in June without making it back to the big leagues.

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