BOSTON—How did Ramiro Mendoza transform himself from an invisible and unwanted spare part of the Sox…
Ortiz Feasts On Adkins
The two-homer game, Ortiz' second of the season and the 10th of his career, increased his season total to 30 and catapulted him into a tie for the AL lead with teammate Manny Ramirez, who hit a solo homer immediately prior to Ortiz' blast in the fourth.
Since the birth of his son, Ortiz has seven homers and 28 RBI, and he could have further padded those totals over the past two days. A potential three-run homer to right field against the White Sox Friday turned into a sacrifice fly when it died in the wind, and Ortiz' 400-foot blast to the deepest part of centerfield was caught at the wall by Aaron Rowand in the second inning Saturday.
"That was stupid hitting," Ortiz said, tongue planted firmly in cheek. "I should have pulled that [expletive]."
Earlier in the evening, it seemed as if Curt Schilling would be the player delivering a profane self-evaluation. Fresh off a miserable performance against the Devil Rays in the opener of the homestand Monday (he allowed six runs and 10 hits over five innings in a 6-2 loss) and in the midst of an extended slump (he entered Saturday 1-2 with a 6.49 ERA in his last four starts), Schilling allowed back-to-back solo homers by Timo Perez and Carlos Lee in the first inning.
But Schilling settled down and lasted eight innings to earn his 14th win of the season. After allowing three hits in the first inning, Schilling allowed just five baserunners—two hits, two walks and a hit batsman—over his final seven innings.
"With this offense, I am not ever going to have a ‘here we go again' [feeling] when I'm out there," Schilling said. "These guys swing the bats, and arguably the two most valuable players in this league hitting three and four for us come up huge tonight. Keep this team close and I have said it again all year long: Through five or six innings, they get a second, third time [up], they get comfortable, they put good swings on the ball."
Keith Foulke issued a leadoff walk to Jose Valentin in the ninth but set down the next three batters to notch his 19th save and keep the Red Sox (64-51) a game ahead of the Rangers (63-52) in the race for the AL wild card.
"It's good to get a win," Terry Francona said. "It's nice to close out a game like that."
For Ortiz, it would be almost as nice to get a good night's sleep. "He kept me up until 4:30 [Friday]," Ortiz said as he walked out of the interview room. "We've got to do something about that."
Then again, why mess with success?
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