Countdown to 500 homers: Papi just 9 away
MIAMI -- In a more ideal world, the Red Sox would be fighting for a spot in the postseason as the regular season winds toward the stretch. But short of that, David Ortiz has at least created a milestone watch for the Fenway faithful.
By finishing his sizzling road trip with two more home runs in Wednesday's 14-6 loss to the Marlins, Ortiz is now just nine away from 500.
"I'm just going to keep on swinging," said Ortiz. "I'm not trying to put any pressure on myself. I'm just trying to put a good swing on it when I'm at the plate. Hopefully I'll get there."
Ortiz has 48 games left to hit his 500th during the '15 season. Ortiz, 39, would become the 27th member of baseball's 500-homer club.
"Hey, look, I'm not trying to really accomplish any personal thing," Ortiz said. "I'm just trying to play the game the way I'm supposed to play it. If I'm swinging the bat good, I'm going to try to put a good swing on the pitch every time. That's me. That's how I play the game. But that's all I can do, all I can control."
Ortiz's first homer on Wednesday was a towering missile to the upper deck in right that exited his bat at 105 mph and traveled a projected 419 feet from home plate at an angle of 32 degrees, according to Statcast™. Fans raced uphill in the stands to retrieve the ball because nobody was sitting quite that deep in the seats.
However, there were a whole lot of Ortiz fans at Marlins Park, and they roared with approval as the slugger rounded the bases.
"Yeah, it felt like I was playing in the Dominican," said Ortiz. "It feels good. You feel like you're playing at home. It's something that motivates you."
It was the culmination of a monster eight-game road trip for Ortiz, in which he hit .367 with five homers.
"Again, what he's doing against left-handers is pretty impressive. Base hits, long balls," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He's certainly locked in, squaring up a number of different types of pitches. Very good game here today for him."