Papi wastes little time in setting DH hits record
Red Sox slugger belts second-inning double vs. Mariners to pass Baines
SEATTLE -- David Ortiz was only tied with Harold Baines for the most hits by a designated hitter for as long as it took him to get another at-bat.
After slapping a single for his 1,688th hit as a DH in his last at-bat of Boston's 11-8 win on Tuesday, Ortiz hit a second-inning double in Wednesday's 11-4 rout to take sole possession of the record.
Congrats to the big man @davidortiz pretty special!!!! With plenty more rockets to come!!!!!- Dustin Pedroia (@15Lasershow) July 11, 2013
Ortiz tipped his helmet from second base to the crowd of 20,480, who gave him a rousing ovation.
DESIGNATED HIT MEN
"It's great, man. I mean the fans, they look forward to that," Ortiz said. "They look forward to watching a guy breaking records and getting to certain levels."
Ortiz demurred when asked about the personal importance of breaking the record, but the slugger admitted that someday he will take the time to reflect on it.
"At some point I will, at some point you sit down and look at your career and appreciate everything that happens," Ortiz said.
Entering the four-game series with Seattle, it was unknown if Ortiz would get the seven hits he needed to break the record. It soon became apparent that the record was destined to fall at Safeco Field. The All-Star has been locked in against the Mariners, getting a hit in eight of his first nine plate appearances in the series. For good measure, Ortiz tacked on a two-run homer in the third inning.
"David obviously sets the record then he comes up with a two-run homer to give us a little bit more breathing room," said manager John Farrell.
Such streaks are commonplace for the feared slugger. Since the beginning of 2012, the 37-year old Ortiz ranks only behind Miguel Cabrera in on-base plus slugging percentage, entering Wednesday's game at 1.047.
"He goes out there every day and he's so consistent you almost expect [the production]," said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. "You feel bad whenever he goes 0-for-4, and you're like, 'Come on, man. Are you kidding me?' That's how good he has been."