Papi goes 0-for-5 as 27-game hitting streak ends
BOSTON -- The odd part of David Ortiz's 27-game hitting streak coming to an end Wednesday wasn't that the slugger didn't get a hit during an 0-for-5 night at the plate. It was that 14 of the 18 players who started in the game did. Ortiz was the only player not to reach base safely.
There were 33 hits that fell in, or out of, Fenway Park as 17 runs were scored in the first two innings of a 15-8 victory for the Twins.
Because Ortiz's hitting streak ended on the same day that Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy wrote a column describing his interaction with Ortiz, in which Shaughnessy suggested that some may think the 37-year-old is using performance enhancing drugs, the slugger declined to address the media postgame.
Afterward, he Tweeted this: "End of my hitting streak tonight the season stil [sic] going and l hope Dan shaugnessy [sic] is a happy man now... Not more 426 enjoy it [peace sign]."
The 426 was referring to Ortiz's .426 average, which he had heading into his game on Tuesday, the day he talked to Shaughnessy.
"Those were pointed questions and David was very direct with his responses," manager John Farrell said before Wednesday's game.
Ortiz didn't get involved in the fun Wednesday, but he had plenty during a hitting streak that lasted 309 calendar days.
Over 97 at-bats since getting a hit on July 2, 2012, until he failed to get one Wednesday, Ortiz put together a .423 batting average, hitting 11 doubles and six homers while driving in 23 runs.
"It starts with his work routine leading up to BP, and then what he sets out to accomplish every day on the field pregame," Farrell said. "You rarely see him look to drive the ball out of the ballpark. He uses the whole field. For the first two rounds, he tries to pepper the left-field foul pole, which is clearly staying inside the ball and giving him full plate coverage.
"When you look at what he's been able to do against left-handed pitching the last two years, whether that was through conversation with Adrian Gonzalez and his approach against lefties, I do know that there were conversations that took place. I'm not saying that's the whole reason, but he's matured and gotten better with time. When you see how he goes about his workday, there's nothing artificial that's led him to the success that he's had."
Ortiz's streak finished tied for the sixth longest by a member of the Red Sox. It was the longest streak by a Boston player since Johnny Damon's 29-game streak in 2005.
The oddity of the streak is that it lasted so long. Nomar Garciaparra had a 21-game hit streak over 322 days from 2000-2001, but no other player has had a hit streak of at least 20 games that's spanned 300 days.
The longest streak to last through two seasons stands at 38 games by Jimmy Rollins, who did it from 2005-06.
Ortiz had one last chance to extend his streak in the ninth inning when he led off against Twins closer Glen Perkins. Ortiz worked the count 2-2 before striking out swinging in obvious discontent.