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."