Ortiz makes DH history in Seattle

Ortiz makes DH history in Seattle
July 10, 2013, 11:00 am
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SEATTLE -- David Ortiz used his bat to make history Tuesday night, but he used his legs to help secure a win.

Ortiz had a four-hit night -- a home run, two doubles and a single -- in the Red Sox 11-8 win over Seattle. The fourth hit, the single, in the eighth inning, gave Ortiz 1,688 hits as a DH, tying him with Harold Baines for most career hits by a DH.

"Just an outstanding career and continues to get better with age,'' gushed manger John Farrell. "Despite the 15 games missed (earlier this year), you look at the total numbers amassed so far. A lot of power in a lot of key spots for us. He might be setting the bar for the position itself.''

Even before Tuesday night, Ortiz already held the mark for most career homers by a DH, along with the career marks for runs scored, RBI, doubles and extra-base hits.

"It means I'm getting old, man,'' Ortiz said with a chuckle. "You've got to play for a while to put numbers together. But I don't really think about (career numbers) right now. I'm just trying to go through the motions and try to continue producing for this ballclub and try to win some ballgames.

"It's good stuff. I mean, I've been doing my thing. It's a good accomplishment, but I'm not really thinking about it right now.''

Ortiz has met Baines a number of times over the years and recalls watching him play when Ortiz was coming up to the big leagues.

"I watched him play -- great hitter,'' Ortiz said. "Great hitter, just like (fellow DH legend) Edgar (Martinez). I watched Edgar for a bit, too. Great hitter. Those guys did it all in the game.''

But all the attention on his exploits at the plate and what he did Tuesday night, Ortiz played a key role on the bases.

After the eighth-inning single, Ortiz was on first with one out. Seattle reliever Carter Capps didn't pay attention to Ortiz and slugger broke for second as the crowd reacted to the unusual sight of Ortiz trying to steal.

Because Ortiz wasn't being held on and Capps was unusually slow to the plate, Ortiz got the bag standing up without drawing so much as a throw.

From there, with first base open, the Mariners walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia intentionally. A single from Jose Iglesias then scored Ortiz and another single -- this one from Brock Holt -- delivered Saltalmacchia.

Those two runs were big insurance runs for the Sox.

"What might get lost in this is David's stolen base,'' Farrell said. "The crowd was laughing about it because you're typically not going to see it. But it really set things up -- the intentional walk to Salty and then the base hit (from Jose Iglesias) and then we followed up with Brock Holt's single behind that . . . It might go under the radar, but that stolen base was key in that inning.''

"You play to win,'' Ortiz said. "Any chance you get, you've got to take advantage of it. It happens. Our first base coach told me how long it takes for (Capps) to make a pitch and I think it was the right time.''

It was Ortiz's third steal of the season. Asked how long it might take to catch stolen base leader Rickey Henderson, Ortiz said: "I don't think I can play another 20 years.''