Ortiz passes Ripken with HR in Baltimore

Ortiz passes Ripken with HR in Baltimore
April 3, 2014, 12:30 am
Share This Post

BALTIMORE -- In four weeks of games in Florida at spring training, David Ortiz managed all of two hits -- both singles -- in 37 at-bats.

Through two regular season games, he has already matched that, with two hits in eight at-bats, including a two-run homer to right that accounted for the first two runs in the Red Sox' 6-2 victory over the Orioles Wednesday night.

A year ago, as he recovered from an Achillies heel injury, Ortiz didn't get a single at-bat in spring training, but went on a tear as soon as he was activated by the Sox in mid-April.

This year is starting the same way.

"What can I tell you?'' asked Ortiz. "I keep on telling you guys, Fort Myers to me is just like time to get rid of all the bad things and prepare for the season.''

Ortiz found himself in a spot of controversy Wednesday when it was reported that Samsung had made arrangement with him to take a selfie with President Obama at the Red Sox' visit to the White House.

The slugger denied that any such agreement existed. When asked if anyone sponsored his homer Wednesday night, Ortiz said: "The Sox. They paid for it, a lot of money.''

The homer was No. 432 of his career, moving him into 45th place all-time. It also allowed him to pass Cal Ripken Jr., in the very same ballpark where Ripken played a good portion of his career with the Orioles.

"I was tied with the Iron Man?'' exclaimed Ortiz. "That’s crazy. You’re talking about a man that never misses a game. It’s always an honor to be mentioned with that caliber of a player.''

Ortiz was asked whether he might reach 500 homers in his career.

"Still playing,'' he shrugged. "Big chances. Seems like that’s the magic number for everyone. We’ll see. I’m not thinking about any of that. I’m just trying to have fun, play the game and keep on winning.''