Ross on Ortiz: 'He's on fire'

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Ross on Ortiz: 'He's on fire'

BOSTON -- For the last two games, Cody Ross has had the best seat in the house.
With David Ortiz at the plate, Ross has stood in the on-deck circle awaiting his turn and watching Ortiz inch closer to the 400 home run mark.
Ortiz hit his 399th career home run in Wednesday afternoon's 10-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. He finished the game 1-for-2 with three walks, an RBI, and four runs scored.
Ross was Boston's clean-up hitter, behind Ortiz on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
And while it's not exactly 762, Ross compared the experience to watching Major League Baseball's official home run king.
"He's on fire," said Ross after the win. "He's not getting too many pitches to hit. Almost Barry Bonds-ish. You can't have enough protection for him. But when he's getting that pitch, he's not missing it. And that was a perfect example today. I think he might have saw one strike, and he hit that ball out.
"I can't tell you how neat it is to stand on-deck and just watch him, and see him hit a homer and come around, and be able to give him a high-five. I mean, I'm a fan too. So, it's pretty neat."
Ortiz' solo blast to the right-field tunnel in the bottom of the fifth, that put Boston up 10-2, marked his 21st home run of the season. That's just eight home runs less than his total of 29 home runs in 146 games in 2011. And it's only June 27.
He had a chance to hit No. 400 during his final at-bat in the bottom of the eighth inning, but Ortiz struck out swinging on a 1-2 slider.
"It's coming, obviously," said Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia after the win.
And if it doesn't come during this upcoming seven-game West-Coast road trip that begins Thursday night in Seattle?
"I'll get it done when I get back," said Ortiz with a smile and a wink after Wednesday's game.
Either way, Ortiz said that home run No. 400 isn't on his mind.
"Right now, that's not really something I think about," said Ortiz. "But I know that at some point, when I'm not playing, you start looking at things, and start realizing my good career I'll probably have.
"Right now, my focus is just on producing for this ball club and try to win some games, and put ourselves in a better situation."

McAdam: Price remains something of a question mark for the postseason

McAdam: Price remains something of a question mark for the postseason

Sean McAdam talks about the concern over Craig Kimbrel not being able to close the door last night and David Price's career struggles in the playoffs.

Kimbrel ninth-inning meltdown doesn’t alarm Farrell

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Kimbrel ninth-inning meltdown doesn’t alarm Farrell

NEW YORK -- John Farrell isn't necessarily alarmed by Craig Kimbrel's poor outing Wednesday night, viewing it as an aberration. But just the same, he'd like to get his closer into a game on the final weekend to flush the bad taste of Wednesday's ninth.

Until the clincher, Kimbrel had allowed just two hits in the previous 23 at-bats (.087) since Sept. 4. And since being re-instated from the DL on Aug. 1, Kimbrel was 13-for-13 in save opportunities with 32 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched and a .113 batting average against.

Kimbrel was brought into the game in the bottom of the ninth and allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner before issuing three straight walks, the last of which forced in a run.

He threw 28 pitches and didn't record an out before being lifted in favor of Joe Kelly, who allowed Mark Teixeira's walk-off grand slam in a 5-3 Yankees victory.

"He was erratic, there's no doubt,” said Farrell. "The command was not there. The power was there, obviously, but the command was not. It turned into a situation where he gets to [almost] 30 pitches. Could we have let him go further, or could the decision have been made to leave him in the game? Sure

"But [Wednesday] night was more of an aberration. Certainly, since he's come off the DL, he's been stingy in those situations. That was a one-time outing last night [given the unusual circumstances].”

Farrell said it's "important” to get all of the Red Sox relievers into games before the season ends Sunday.

"How often, how high stress...the games will dictate that,'' Farrell said. "But yeah, it will be important to Craig back on the mound before we end, regardless of whether it's a save situation.”