CLEVELAND -- Wearing sunglasses to block out the late-afternoon light and a red hoodie under his uniform to stay warm, David Ortiz whipped his bat through the zone and kicked off his final Major League season in grand fashion in the top of the ninth inning on Tuesday.The slugger walloped
CLEVELAND -- Wearing sunglasses to block out the late-afternoon light and a red hoodie under his uniform to stay warm, David Ortiz whipped his bat through the zone and kicked off his final Major League season in grand fashion in the top of the ninth inning on Tuesday.
The slugger walloped a 2-2 cutter by Trevor Bauer over the wall in right for a two-run shot that gave the Red Sox some breathing room in a 6-2 victory over the Indians.
Somehow, you knew Ortiz wasn't going to let his last Opening Day go by without doing something memorable. And you probably figured he wouldn't let it go by without saying something memorable.
"Yeah, it's the beginning of the season," said Ortiz. "When the light goes on, Papi goes on."
• In his final Opening Day, the hoodie-wearing David Ortiz hit another home run
Ortiz might be 40 years old and ready to retire in a few months, but he's still a key figure in Boston's batting order.
"There are no signs of slowing down from David by the way he swung the bat today," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He struck three balls really well."
In the third, Ortiz smoked a double that one-hopped the wall in center. That gave Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor a chance to say hello.
"I have a lot of respect for him," Lindor said. "I went over to second base and I told him, 'This is your last one. Are you going to enjoy it?' He said, 'Yeah, man. I'm going to enjoy it. I'm going to have fun.' You saw it today. He's enjoying every at-bat, every pitch. He's having fun -- like he always does. I have a lot of respect for him."
In the fifth, Ortiz crushed one to deep right, but the chilly air (it was 34 degrees at game time) knocked it down.
But in the ninth, Ortiz got all of one for career homer No. 504, tying him with Eddie Murray for 26th on the all-time list. It was the first Opening Day homer for Ortiz since 2011.
"He's still got it, absolutely," said Red Sox ace David Price, who earned the win. "I know he doesn't care about Spring Training. He's saving it all for the season. I'm happy he's on my team."
After a day like Tuesday, there will be a lot of Red Sox fans hoping Ortiz will change his mind about retirement.
"I know, but it is what it is," said Ortiz. "We're just going to have fun and enjoy this year, and hopefully we wind up winning everything."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com.