Ortiz blasts two in 10-run first inning
Slugger's pair of three-run homers pace early outburst
BOSTON -- David Ortiz walked into Fenway Park on Tuesday not having homered at the old ballpark since a July 27 tilt against the New York Yankees. He dismissed that drought rather quickly off Rangers pitcher Scott Feldman.
Ortiz blasted two homers in the first, one hooking around the right-field foul pole and another to straightaway center field, as Boston pounded 10 runs across the plate to start the contest. It was the first time the team scored double-digit runs in an inning since a 14-run outburst against Florida on June 27, 2003.
The Sox won that game, 25-8. In this outing with Texas, they'd eventually need to come from behind to nab a 19-17 victory. As for the beginning of the contest, Ortiz was the catalyst for the early outburst.
"He swung the bat great," said Dustin Pedroia, who went 5-for-6 with two RBIs and five runs scored. "We're going to need him to do some special things."
Big Papi went 3-for-4 in the contest with four runs scored and six RBIs. The pair of home runs marked the first multiple homer inning for a Red Sox player since Nomar Garciaparra did so on July 23, 2002, in the third inning against Tampa Bay.
After a leadoff walk to J.D. Drew and a single by Pedroia, Ortiz clocked a 0-1 fastball to right for an early 3-0 lead.
With one out, Mike Lowell singled, and Jason Bay reached on a Ramon Vazquez error at third base. Jed Lowrie sent both of them home with a two-run double.
Drew notched an RBI single of his own, sending Lowrie home after a walk to Kevin Cash put runners on first and second. Then, Pedroia hit an RBI single -- all still with one out.
That brought Ortiz to the plate once more, and Big Papi didn't waste any time extending the damage. Ortiz sent a first-pitch fastball to straightaway center field for his second homer.
"I just decided to stick with what I have," Ortiz said, alluding to his left wrist that put him on the disabled list for nearly two months, along with forcing him to sit on Monday against Chicago. "My hand has been up and down a lot. That's why you guys saw me get a day off yesterday. And it helped me."
|David Ortiz is the fourth player in Red Sox history with two home runs in an inning with his two long balls in the opening frame of Tuesday's game. It was the 54th time in Major League history that a player has belted two jacks in a frame.|
|David Ortiz||Rangers||Aug. 12, 2008|
|Nomar Garciaparra||Rays||July 23, 2002|
|Ellis Burks||Indians||Aug. 27, 1990|
|Bill Regan||White Sox||June 16, 1928|
|Ortiz's six RBIs in the first inning tie an American League record done 11 times previously.|
It was the 54th time in Major League history that a player had belted two homers in an inning. The Cubs' Jim Edmonds accomplished the feat most recently against the White Sox in the fourth inning on June 21, 2008. The feat also harkened to Fernando Tatis' two grand slams he hit in one inning with the St. Louis Cardinals on April 23, 1999, at Dodger Stadium.
The Red Sox have gone deep twice in an inning four times. In addition to Ortiz and Garciaparra, Ellis Burks did it on Aug. 27, 1990, against Cleveland, and Bill Regan did it on June 16, 1928, against Chicago. Both Burks' and Regan's two homers came in the fourth inning.
Ortiz is the third Red Sox player to drive in six runs in a single frame, the first since Carlos Quintana in the third inning on July 30, 1991, against Texas. Tom McBride is the only other Red Sox player to do so, accomplishing it against Washington on Aug. 4, 1945.
Ortiz nearly added a third homer in the fifth. He hit a shot to center that looked initially like it was a home run before second-base umpire Scott Barry signaled a ground-rule double on account of fan interference.
"It was kind of close. If we don't have fans there, it'd probably go out," Ortiz joked. "But we need those fans, so I'll take that anyway."
Mark Remme is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.