Ortiz ends scorching April with two home runs

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Ortiz ends scorching April with two home runs

BOSTON -- Prior to Monday night, Oakland Athletics lefty Tommy Milone had never allowed a hit nor a home run to a left-handed batter in the 53 innings he had pitched since coming into the big leagues last year.

That all changed in the second inning, when David Ortiz smashed a 3-2, 87-mph fastball into the Oakland bullpen for a solo home run, tying the game at 1-1.

Ortiz later added to that, smashing an 86-mph fastball into the Red Sox bullpen for another solo home run in the fifth inning, which gave Boston a 7-1 lead.

It marks Ortiz' first-career game with multiple home runs against left-handed pitching, and it was his 38th multi-homer game of his career.

"David's a star of stars for right now," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine after Boston's 11-6 win over the A's on Monday night at Fenway Park. "It's hard to throw a strike by him. He's using all fields. He's seeing the ball awfully well. I know that's the old cliche, but he gets two balls and no strikes, it doesn't even bother him to take, because he's very confident right now. His swing is as good as I think it can get."

Ortiz now has 384 career home runs, and moved past Jim Rice, Frank Howard, and Larry Walker, and into a tie with Harold Baines for 57th on baseball's all-time list.

"Hes a really good force in the lineup, in any lineup," said Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles. "And having him anchor this lineup, I think it really, really helps us. you got a guy that his sole position is to DH. He has one job, and thats to hit and he does it well. And anytime you have a guy like that, just from an offensive standpoint, he brings a lot to this team.

"And that doesnt even say what kind of teammate he is," added Aviles. "Hes arguably one of the greatest teammates Ive ever had. And so to have aguy like that around this group, I think it helps out a lot."

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Never say never?

While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.

CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season. 

For the full interview with Martinez, click here.

Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired. 

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.

Chris Sale.

The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.

But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.

“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.

“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”

He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.

He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.

But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.

“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”