Box Score Bank: Two Times the Papi

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Box Score Bank: Two Times the Papi

Last night at Fenway, David Ortiz jacked two home runs in the Sox 9-6 loss. The blasts brought Papi's career total to 398, leaving him two short of a historic plateau. But by hitting two in one game, he tied an impressive Red Sox record which I'm sure you've already heard or read about at some point but I'm going to repeat again just for the hell of it:

It was the 37th time that Ortiz has hit two homers in a game for the Sox, tying him with Ted Williams for the franchise record.

Sounds like the makings of a Box Score Bank.

So let's set our sights (and this site) for July 4, 2003

The Matrix Reloaded was No. 1 at the Box Office . . . Clay Aiken's "This is the Night" was in the midst of its glorious two week run atop the Billboard chart . . . America was celebrating its 227th birthday . . . You were mere hours away from getting drunk and blowing off your index finger with a Roman Candle . . .

And over at old Yankee Stadium, David Ortiz was hitting two home runs in a game for the first time in his Red Sox career:

Final Score: Red Sox 10, Yankees 3

Crazy fact: Ortiz was actually one of three Red Sox Jason Varitek and Bill Mueller were the others to homer twice on the afternoon. Manny Ramirez only hit one, but it was enough to give the Sox seven homers in the game, which was (and still is) one short of a team record.

Papi led off the fourth with his first homer off David Wells to give Boston a 5-2. He led off the seventh with homer No. 2 off Jason Anderson to make it 9-3. And at the time, no one was exactly sure what to make of this David Ortiz. After all, he didn't come on board with any special fan fare. He'd only recently started playing every day. Even though he hit two homers, they were only his sixth and seventh of the season and the All-Star break was less than a week away.

We loved seeing him kill the Yankees, but we still needed a little more convincing before laying on that special brand of Red Sox love and affection.

Ortiz provided it the very next day, when he hit two more homers against the Yankees (the first off Roger Clemens) in the Sox 10-2 win. It's still the only time in Ortiz's career that he's hit two homers in consecutive games.

Well, at least until tonight.

What a way that would be to hit 400.

And leave Teddy Ballgame in his dust.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

McAdam: Ridiculous to think Bradley's streak ended because he hit leadoff

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McAdam: Ridiculous to think Bradley's streak ended because he hit leadoff

BOSTON -- If you think John Farrell's decision to hit Jackie Bradley Jr. leadoff for one night is the reason Bradley's 29-game hit streak came to an end, I've got some swamp land you might be interested in buying.

Such silly talk first surfaced mid-afternoon when the lineup was announced. With Mookie Betts getting his first day off this season, somebody had to hit leadoff. Farrell went with the guy who was leading the league in hitting.

That sounds reasonable. But not to some, who cried that putting Bradley at the top was (take your pick) disrupting Bradley's routine, putting him in a place with which he wasn't familiar, or asking him to change his approach.

Of course, none of those made much sense.

First of all, Thursday night marked the sixth (SIXTH!) different spot that Bradley has hit during the hitting streak. He had hit second, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth. So the notion that any change was disruptive was absurd.

As for the notion that Bradley would treat his at-bats differently because he was leading off? Also wrong. Bradley's major adjustment since spring training has been being aggressive early in the count. So, do you know how many pitches Bradley saw in four at-bats as the leadoff hitter? Eight.

Does that sound like someone who was being forced to be more patient for the night, or someone changing their approach by working the count more?

Finally, Bradley hit two balls on the screws -- one to the warning track in right, just in front of the bullpen in his first at-bat and another in front of the center field door, some 400 or so feet away, in his third.

Streaks come to an end, even when hitters belt the ball hard. Twice.