Ortiz sandwiches milestone between HRs

Ortiz sandwiches milestone between HRs
September 5, 2013, 1:15 am
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BOSTON – As he has done for much of his 11 seasons with the Red Sox, David Ortiz led the offensive barrage. This time, it came in a 20-4 dismantling of the Tigers at Fenway Park Wednesday night. He went 3-for-5 with a double, two home runs, three runs scored, and four RBI.
 
This time, though, despite the two majestic home runs that are his signature, it was a sixth-inning RBI double that marked this game. The hit was the 2,000th of his career.
 
Sandwiched  in between the two round trippers --  both into the right field  bleachers, a lead-off shot in the fourth and two-run job in the seventh -- Ortiz hit an RBI double in the Sox eight-run sixth inning for the milestone hit. He is one of three active players with at least 2,000 hits, 400 home runs, and 1,400 RBI, along with Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez.
 
Each of his hits was met with thunderous applause from the Fenway faithful, with the loudest and longest ovation reserved for his milestone double.
 
“Big night for David, obviously a milestone for him,” manager John Farrell said. “Great career. Great to see the reception and the ovation that he received, and rightly so.”
 
It was his 41st career multi-home run game, and his 39th as a member of the Red Sox, extending his team record.
 
With 427 career homers, he moved past Billy Williams and into a tie with Mike Piazza for 46th place on the all-time list. With 26 home runs this season, Ortiz now has nine seasons with at least 25 home runs, all with the Red Sox. That's second on the team’s all-time list behind Ted Williams’ 14 seasons of 25 or more home runs.

“What can I tell you?” Ortiz said. “I just always try to come in and try to do something to win a ballgame. I always get caught off-guard when it  comes down to personal numbers. Most of [the media] sometime come to me telling me how far I am from doing things. Those sort of things surprise me because I’m not keeping the track of things. I just come to the field with my mind focused on winning the next game. And that’s me. But it’s great getting to that milestone and accomplish numbers that are at some point when you’re not playing baseball you look at them and thank God for giving you a nice career.”
 
Ortiz's 2,000th hit also drew praise from the opposing manager.

"I'm a fan of the game. Congratulations to David," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "That's a heck of a milestone. I'm sure the Red Siox fans are proud of him and I'm sure he's proud of himself. He's had a wonderful, wonferful career. He's a very popular player here. A very kind man, really. I'm very happy for him. Under the circumstances it came against the wrong team but that's OK."
 
It’s a milestone he believes he could have reached much sooner were it not for the defensive shift that opponents have used against him.
 
“I saw a couple of guys getting 3,000 hits in a game that I was in, and trust me, it just is a special case,” he said. “I pretty much have experienced a lot. The way they play me when I hit, I  could have done this five or six years ago. But the way they play me, it’s hard to get through [the shift]. So it is what it is. You got to appreciate something that is not easy to do.”
 
He also appreciates that the milestone came at Fenway, in the finale of a nine-game homestand.  Ortiz had taken a couple of 0-fers in his last two games, standing pat at 1,998 hits. It appeared the milestone may be destined for the road, in possibly – all of places – Yankee Stadium this weekend.
 
“It means a lot,” he said of accomplishing the feat at Fenway. “My life have been built up around this organization, this city, these fans. I think that the best thing that ever happened to me was come to play here in Boston because what I see every day when I get to the field is pretty much what I saw growing up in my country [the Dominican Republic]. People love baseball. People live for baseball. And as a player that just gets you going.
 
“There’s no way that there's a day that you don’t feel like coming in and try to get it done. . . . Our fans support this ballclub better than anyone else that I have seen. Getting this done, especially here at home, it was one of those things that you will never forget about. I will keep that in mind. I saw everybody on their feet when I got the 2,000th hit. Fans been through the bad times and the good times. And our fans deserve that more than anyone else, especially after the season that we had last year. I think what makes it more special is not only getting done at home, it’s the situation that we are at right now. That’s something that our fans been missing for a while.”