Ortiz sets club record with 9th 30-HR season
Big Papi breaks tie with Ted Williams; hits 496th overall
BOSTON -- David Ortiz notched more milestones on Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park while at the same time closing in on another one.
Big Papi curled a home run down the line in right field in the bottom of the fourth inning for his 30th of the season and No. 496 of his career, helping the Red Sox lock up a 9-2 victory over the Phillies.
With that swing, Ortiz surpassed the legendary Ted Williams for the most 30-home run seasons in Red Sox history with nine. The 39-year-old Ortiz also surpassed Teddy Ballgame to become the oldest player in club history to belt 30 in a season.
"It's special to be a part of, to get to be able to see it every single day," said Jackie Bradley Jr. "It's not something I take for granted. I don't think a lot of people do. He's a special player."
Darrell Evans, who hit 34 homers for the Tigers in 1987, is the only other player in American League history to hit 30 homers while age 39 or older. Evans was 40 for most of the '87 season.
Ortiz, who turns 40 on Nov. 18, is trying to become the 27th player in history to hit 500 homers.
Each time Ortiz comes to the plate for the final four games of this homestand, there will be anticipation to see if the red flag above the Monster - which currently says 496 - will be updated.
Ortiz was not available for comment after Saturday's game, but the Red Sox had plenty to say about their legendary slugger.
"We're all engaged every time he comes to the plate," said interim manager Torey Lovullo. "It's an exciting time, no matter what we try to say to downplay it. He's reaching a pretty impressive milestone. He is a great leader and a great friend to everybody on this team.
"It makes it just a little more special because of who he is and what he means to everyone. I know it will be a great accomplishment, a very well-deserved accomplishment when it finally does come. We're all pulling for him every single time he walks to the plate."
Jerome Williams was the victim of Ortiz's latest home run swing.
"The pitch that Ortiz hit off him, I thought it was a pretty good pitch up and in," said Phillies manager Pete Mackanin. "But Ortiz is a freak. This guy, he can hit. And I mean that in a good way."
Ortiz's homer on Saturday -- a solo shot -- capped the damage in an eight-run inning against the Phillies. Ortiz started the rally with a single.