ON THIS DATE (September 12, 2007)
There are the moments
that David Ortiz is best known for. He is the master of the dramatic,
the player who makes the fans hold their breath, the man who keeps
everyone on the edge of their seats. So tonight, Ortiz stepped up in
the bottom of the ninth inning with one out and one man on. Julio
Lugo had walked and the Red Sox trailed the Tampa Bay Devil Rays,
4-3. Right-hander Al Reyes threw a 3-and-1 pitch, and Ortiz
connected. The ball took off toward right field. Delmon Young ran
toward the Pesky Pole, but when he realized the ball wasn't drifting
that far right, he reversed his field. But he had turned around to
such an extreme that he couldn't make the grab, and the ball just
made it into the seats.
Red Sox, led by closer Jonathan Papelbon, who had pitched the top of the ninth,
came charging out of the dugout to surround Ortiz, who earned his first walkoff
homer of the season as Boston came from behind to win for the second straight
Ortiz's first homer, his 30th, cleared the Devil Rays' bullpen to make it 4-3,
Tampa Bay, it appeared the teams intended to stage an encore of the 16-10
hit-o-rama from the night before. But Devil Rays starter Edwin Jackson righted
himself, allowing just two singles before leaving after the sixth, and Julian
Tavarez, pitching for just the second time in 12 days this month, rescued Jon
Lester after his premature exit.
Sox' best hitter yesterday outside of Ortiz, who also lined out twice to first
baseman Carlos Pena, was Ramirez, and his swings were limited to batting
practice, when he hit three balls in the seats in compelling testimony that his
strained oblique muscle is getting better.
Lester's abbreviated outing hardly was a balm for a Sox bullpen that went six
deep the night before, and the Devil
Rays had themselves a 4-0 advantage.
Lugo singled and stole second to open the third, Pedroia walked, and Ortiz
launched an 0-and-1 pitch over the visitors' bullpen, making it 4-3.
it was the ninth inning and David Ortiz.