ONE LAST RUN FOR A RED SOX LEGEND -
FROM SEASON CHAMPS TO PLAYOFF CHUMPS
Another night of Big Papi moments

September 30, 2016 ... David Ortiz began his final regular-season weekend with a go-ahead two-run homer that damaged Toronto's postseason hopes while leading the Red Sox to a 5-3 victory Friday at Fenway Park that improved their chances at home field in the American League Division Series.

Playing for home field and trying to keep his team sharp entering the postseason is why manager John Farrell played his "A" lineup.

The Blue Jays had broken out to a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning against Rick Porcello on the strength of a prodigious two-run homer to left by Jose Bautista that snapped a tie.

In a four-run seventh inning, the Red Sox gained momentum from a strange play in which Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin fielded a tapper by Dustin Pedroia but threw errantly to first. In fact, the throw, which nearly hit Pedroia, went out of play. Pedroia was awarded second base, and at the discretion of the umpires, Andrew Benintendi, who started the play at second, was permitted to score to make it a one-run game.

After Mookie Betts tied it up with an RBI single, it was Big Papi's turn, and he roped a two-run homer down the line in right, eliciting roars from the Fenway faithful. Ortiz then came out for a curtain call.

In the first of three ceremonies that will honor Ortiz this weekend, the slugger was honored for his off-field contributions. Prior to the game, there was a poignant touch in the air as Ortiz was honored for his work off the field. Many of the children from the Dominican Republic and Boston who had open-heart surgery with the funding of the David Ortiz Children's Fund were on the field for the ceremony. Joaquin Maldonado Mendoza, a 15-year-old boy from the Dominican Republic who is healthy following heart surgery, threw the first pitch to Ortiz. He was accompanied on the mound by Roberto Clemente Jr., the son of baseball's most famous humanitarian.

Ortiz, the beloved designated hitter for the Red Sox since 2003, was presented with a portrait of him hitting at Fenway Park drawn by renowned lithograph artist Peter Max.

Once the game started, Ortiz wasted no time making his presence felt, lacing an RBI single to left in the first inning that broke a scoreless tie. That broke an 0-for-10 hitless streak for Big Papi. In Ortiz's third at-bat in the fifth, he hit a bullet to right with an exit velocity of 109 mph, but Bautista flagged it down. But he saved his best for his final at-bat, producing home run No. 38 on the season and 500 with the Red Sox, including postseason. At the age of 40, Ortiz has 38 home runs, his highest total since he smashed a career-high 54 in 2006.

Rick Porcello's body of work was completed in his quest to win the AL's Cy Young Award. In 33 starts, He went 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA. He finished the regular season with 13 consecutive quality starts. The righty logged a career-high 223 innings, walking just 32 and striking out 189.

Pedroia has hit in 30 straight games against the Blue Jays, the longest streak by an opposing hitter in Toronto's history.

The loss slipped the Blue Jays into the second AL Wild Card spot one game behind the Orioles, who beat the Yankees. The Red Sox maintained their half-game lead over the Indians for the No. 2 seed and own the tiebreaker because Boston won the season series. The Red Sox-Indians matchup in the Division Series is set now that Texas clinched the No. 1 seed in the AL.

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

TORONTO BLUE JAYS

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

 

 

3

10

2

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

1

0

0

0

0

0

4

0

x

 

 

5

10

0

 

 

W-Brad Ziegler (4-5)
L-Joe Biagini (4-3)
Attendance - 37,661

2B-Pedroia (Bost), Benintendi (Bost), Travis (2)(Tor)

3B-Bogaerts (Bost)

HR-Ortiz (Bost), Bautista (Tor)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Dustin Pedroia 2b 5 1 3 .322  

 

Brock Holt 3b 3 1 0 .260  

 

Mookie Betts rf 4 1 1 .319  

 

David Ortiz dh 4 1 2 .316  

 

Hanley Ramirez 1b 3 0 0 .287  

 

Xander Bogaerts ss 4 0 1 .294  

 

Jackie Bradley Jr cf 4 0 0 .270  

 

Sandy Leon c 4 0 1 .311  

 

A Benintendi lf 4 1 2 .304  

 

    IP H ER BB SO  

 

Rick Porcello 6 8 3 2 6  

 

Brad Ziegler 1 1 0 1 0  

 

Koji Uehara 1 1 0 1 0  

 

Craig Kimbrel 1 0 0 2 1  

 

 

         

 

 

 

2016 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

(*) BOSTON RED SOX

93

67

-

 

 

Baltimore Orioles

88 72 5

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays

87 73 6

 

 

New York Yankees

83 77 10

 

 

Tampa Bay Rays

66 94 27

 

     
 

(*) Clinched American League East Title