BOSTON -- David Ortiz now has more home runs than Ted Williams. And the gregarious slugger, who is playing the final season of his illustrious career, admits it will take a while for that to sink in.Big Papi cranked career homer No. 522 as the Red Sox edged the Angels,
BOSTON -- David Ortiz now has more home runs than Ted Williams. And the gregarious slugger, who is playing the final season of his illustrious career, admits it will take a while for that to sink in.
Big Papi cranked career homer No. 522 as the Red Sox edged the Angels, 5-4, on Friday night at Fenway. With one swing, Ortiz passed three Hall of Famers (Williams, Willie McCovey and Frank Thomas) for sole possession of 19th place on the all-time list.
"Like I said before, any time you can attach your name to Mr. Williams, that's a good thing. The man did it all," Ortiz said.
Ortiz's latest milestone came on a night the Red Sox caught a break in the top of the ninth inning. Daniel Nava hit a double down the line in right on which there appeared to be fan interference. But it was ruled a ground-rule double with no interference, preventing Mike Trout from scoring the tying run.
"That was huge," said Ortiz. "We played with 26 players tonight. I was like, 'Yes!' That might be the first time I was going to celebrate someone carrying the ball in that situation."
Ortiz has carried the Red Sox lineup plenty in his career, even in this final season at the age of 40.
The designated hitter is hitting .342 with 19 homers, 64 RBIs and a 1.119 OPS. The home run was part of a 3-for-4 night for Ortiz.
"He gets a breaking ball that looks like it's going to his back foot. He finds a way to get the barrel to it, stays inside the foul pole. He continues to climb up a number of lists offensively," said Red Sox manager John Farrell.
The home run also marked Ortiz's 2,000th with the Red Sox, as he became the seventh player to reach that number while wearing the Boston uniform.
Williams played his entire career with the Red Sox, the team Ortiz has achieved legendary status with since coming to Boston in 2003.
"It was a successful night and like I always say, I have respect for those milestones," Ortiz said.
Ortiz needs 12 homers to tie Jimmie Foxx and 14 to equal Mickey Mantle.
For Ortiz, the most important thing was a win. The Red Sox have struggled lately, going 10-16 in June.
"We didn't play that good on the last road trip," said Ortiz. "Coming home, we have to play better and hopefully this win is the start of something good."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.