Ortiz smashes two homers as Sox rout Twins
Doubront looks strong, allowing just one run over 6 1/3 innings
MINNEAPOLIS -- David Ortiz is officially in that zone -- the one in which he seems capable of hitting the ball over the fence every time he comes to the plate.
The big slugger walloped two more homers to lead the Red Sox to a 9-4 victory over the Twins on Wednesday night at Target Field. The DH went 7-for-10 over the last two games.
Ortiz has four homers in the last two nights, making him the first Boston player to have consecutive multi-homer games since July 4-5, 2003.
It should probably come as no surprise that the man who pulled off that feat 11 seasons ago was Ortiz at Yankee Stadium.
"I've seen it before," said Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli. "In the World Series, he was hot like that. He's just locked in."
Just so you know, the baseball doesn't look any bigger to Ortiz these days. That is another one of those myths spread by people who have never stepped into the batters' box against a Major League pitcher.
"It's looking the same. It doesn't look any bigger. Don't believe in that," chuckled Ortiz.
Believe this though: After all these years, the man is still raking.
Ortiz's first homer on Wednesday was No. 383 in a Boston uniform, moving him past Hall of Famer Jim Rice for sole possession of third place on the all-time club list.
Only Ted Williams (521 homers) and Carl Yastrzemski (452) have hit more homers in a Red Sox uniform than Big Papi.
"When you come to an organization like this one and they start mentioning your name with Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, Mr. Ted Williams, that's just something that's special," said Ortiz. "To be honest with you, I'm not keeping track of any of that. I'm just trying to get my job done and move on."
The second homer was No. 442 in Ortiz's career, tying him with Dave Kingman for 39th on the all-time list.
The fact that Ortiz's latest power barrage occurred in Minneapolis was somehow fitting, given that the Twins infamously released him after the 2002 season.
"You have to play the game the same way against everybody," Ortiz said. "You guys watch me. I come to the field with the same attitude every day. You're not going to hit like that every day. It's not going to happen. Then you'd get treated like Barry Bonds. That's not good, that's not fun. I don't feel like walking every day."
Ortiz wasn't the only thing for the Red Sox to feel good about in this one.
Felix Doubront turned in a strong start, allowing seven hits and a run over 6 1/3 innings. The lefty walked one and struck out five.
"I feel pretty good," said Doubront. "I limited the damage in those couple of innings. My breaking ball was good, the fastball was efficient -- the two seamer. Everything felt pretty good tonight."
Grady Sizemore and Xander Bogaerts added two hits apiece. Napoli reached base for the 33rd straight game.
The Red Sox got off to a quick start in this one, and Ortiz wasted no time making his presence felt, ripping a double to the gap in right-center to put runners on second and third with one out in the first. Napoli grounded out to second, and Shane Victorino scored. Sizemore followed with an RBI double to center, and Boston had a 2-0 lead against Twins right-hander Kevin Correia.
In the third, Ortiz again led the charge, unloading for a two-out solo homer to right-center.
"He's in one of those stretches right now where he's obviously seeing the ball well," said Farrell. "They're throwing pitches on the plate for him, and he's not missing them. To think of what he's done not only in these two games, but in the time he's spent in games played here in this ballpark, he's in a very rare stretch right now with the overall production."
Ortiz is now a career .528 (28-for-53) hitter with nine homers and 22 RBIs in 13 career games at Target Field.
Napoli followed Ortiz's homer with a double to right and Sizemore came through with an RBI single, and Doubront had a 4-0 edge.
The Twins got one back in the third on a sacrifice fly by Joe Mauer.
Correia couldn't get into any kind of rhythm. Bogaerts got things started in the fourth with a double and Will Middlebrooks brought him home with an RBI single.
In the fifth, the Ortiz show was back on full display, this time with a 414-foot rocket to right.
The back-to-back monster games brought back memories of the 2013 World Series, when Ortiz hit .688 against the Cardinals.
"Just like I told you guys last year during the World Series, I have gotten hot like that in the regular season too, but people are just watching so many games at the same time, not just one game, so you don't notice it as much as in the World Series," Ortiz said. "It happens."
The Twins know this all too well. It seems to happen every time they face Ortiz.
"He's an incredibly hot hitter and a future Hall of Famer," said Correia.