David Ortiz homers ...
ON THIS DATE (May 14, 2016) ... David Ortiz had never hit a homer, triple and double in the same game, but that all changed on Saturday afternoon as he hit a walk-off two-bagger to give the Red Sox a 6-5 victory over the Astros in 11 innings at Fenway Park.
Ortiz's solo homer in the third inning was No. 513 in his career, surpassing Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews for No. 22 on the all-time list. With Papi's game-winning double, he joined Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds as the only players with at least 500 homers and 600 doubles.
The fourth pitch to David Ortiz in the bottom of the 11th inning on Saturday afternoon was a slider that bounced past catcher Jason Castro. Xander Bogaerts, who was on first base, jogged down to second. The Houston Astros had a decision to make at that point. Should they continue to pitch to Ortiz with two outs, or walk him with first base open and take their chances with Hanley Ramirez.
The complicating factors were myriad. The pitcher was Michael Feliz, a 22-year-old rookie right-hander who had never faced Ortiz before. But he had a 2-and-2 count on Ortiz, an advantage situation for the pitcher. Still, this was Ortiz. At 40 he remains one of the gameís best hitters and has made a career of delivering game-winning hits. He had already tied the game with a triple in the ninth inning and hit a home run in the third. Castro went to the mound to talk it over with Feliz. Their plan was to pitch to Ortiz, but not give him anything to hit.
The next pitch was a belt-high changeup on the outer third of the plate. Ortiz drove it to the base of the wall in center field, the ball striking to the left of the 420-foot marker. As the sold-out crowd erupted, Bogaerts scored and the Red Sox had a thrilling victory.
Ortizís teammates swarmed him at second base and tore off his jersey. Joe Kelly, looking for a unique means of celebration, liberated a cup of flour from the clubhouse kitchen and threw it at Ortiz.
It was the first time in his career Ortiz had a double, triple, and home run in the same game. Ortiz walked off the field carrying second base as a memento. The double was the 600th of his career. In major league history, only Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, and now Ortiz have at least 500 home runs and 600 doubles. Ortiz is hitting .320 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs. In what he still promises is his final season, Ortiz has been at his best.
The ninth inning started with the Red Sox down, 5-4, and facing Houston closer Luke Gregerson. Bradley, who earlier extended his hit streak to 20 games, drew a one-out walk. Bogaerts then grounded into a force at second base. That brought up Ortiz. He lined a fastball to center field that tailed away from Jake Marisnick and one-hopped the wall. Bogaerts scored easily and Ortiz steamed to third for his 19th career triple, the first since 2013. With a chance to win the game, Ramirez inexplicably decided to bunt. He pushed the ball meekly in front of the plate and was thrown out to end the inning.
The Astros jumped to a 5-2 lead on a first-inning home run by Carlos Correa and a second-inning grand slam by George Springer, who sent a towering shot high over the Monster off
Clay Buchholz for his second go-ahead homer in as many games.
Buchholz struggled again. He allowed five runs, four coming on the grand slam. He has allowed five earned runs in five of his eight starts and has an earned run average of 6.11.
Bogaerts had an RBI double in the first inning. Another run scored when Travis Shaw drew a bases-loaded walk. Ortiz homered in the third inning, his 10th of the season and No. 513 in his career. Josh Rutledge doubled and scored on a Mookie Betts ground out in the fourth inning.
Houston starter Collin McHugh allowed four runs on 10 hits over six innings. Red Sox relievers Carson Smith, Tommy Layne, Junichi Tazawa, Craig Kimbrel, and Koji Uehara (2-1) combined on five innings of shutout relief.
The 23-14 Red Sox have won six of seven and 11 of their last 15 games. They have scored 63 runs in the last six games.