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Flip out again with Papi's '13 ALCS slam

@IanMBrowne
May 30, 2020

When David Ortiz was at the plate in a pivotal moment of a postseason game, you almost expected he would do something phenomenal. The expectations for one player to keep doing so much was probably unfair, but he kept delivering. One of Ortiz’s most legendary moments took place in Game

When David Ortiz was at the plate in a pivotal moment of a postseason game, you almost expected he would do something phenomenal.

The expectations for one player to keep doing so much was probably unfair, but he kept delivering. One of Ortiz’s most legendary moments took place in Game 2 of the 2013 American League Championship Series.

By the bottom of the eighth inning against the Tigers at Fenway Park, the Red Sox were down, 5-1, with two outs.

They were four outs away from taking an 2-0 series deficit to Detroit with Justin Verlander looming in Game 3.

Instantly, Ortiz took all the pressure off the Red Sox and put it on the Tigers by greeting reliever Joaquin Benoit with a game-tying grand slam that set Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter sprawling into the Boston bullpen.

As the ball hit the ground, Boston police officer Steve Horgan in the bullpen raised his arms in triumph.

It became an iconic image and an unforgettable moment for the Red Sox and their fans.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia belted a walk-off single in the ninth, and Boston went on to win that ALCS in six games.

But the night belonged to Ortiz.

The home run call by Red Sox radio broadcaster Dave O’Brien is one that will continue to be replayed for generations to come.

Here was O’Brien’s call: “The big right-hander, Benoit, delivers. Swing and a high deep drive into right field, that one scalded to right, Hunter on the move, racing back, it’s over his head, it’s gone, it’s into the bullpen, this game is tied. This game is tied! David Ortiz! David Ortiz! David Ortiz!”

O’Brien recently recalled what went into that special moment.

“I just thought, for emphasis, once, twice, three times. It’s almost like, just in case you didn’t get it, that was David Ortiz. That was David Ortiz. How many times has he done this? I guess that’s what came into my head. This guy does this all the time,” O’Brien said.

Led by Ortiz hitting .688, the Red Sox went on to defeat the Cardinals in six games in the ’13 World Series. It’s unlikely they would have gotten there were it not for what Ortiz did in Game 2 against the Tigers.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.