Ortiz reaches milestone with No. 400

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Ortiz reaches milestone with No. 400

OAKLAND -- In a perfect world, David Ortiz would have been able to celebrate his 400th career homer in style, following a Red Sox victory.
But wins have been in short supply for the Sox, who finished a seven-game road trip to the West Coast Wednesday with a dispiriting 3-2 loss to the Oakland, taking some of the shine off the achievement.
"It was in a good situation, tied the game,'' recounted Ortiz of the solo shot to right to lead off the fourth inning off A.J. Griffin.
But in the moment, Ortiz couldn't find much joy in the honor, even if he became only the eighth active player to reach the milestone and moved him into 49th place all-time on the homer list.
"Right now, not really,'' said Ortiz when asked if the homer felt special. "I'm just trying to play the game and try to keep on producing for this ballclub. I'll just try to keep on rolling.''
In time, Ortiz acknowledged, the homer will be appreciated in its proper historical context. But Ortiz, 36, intends to keep playing for several seasons. With the benefit of hindsight, the homer will someday mean more to him.
"I know at some point,'' he said, "when I'm not playing baseball, I might look at it from the outside and be like, 'Whoa -- I guess I had a good career.' But right now, it's just another home run that you put up there.''
There's something about facing the A's that makes for milestone homers for the Red Sox. Ortiz is the third Red Sox player in history to hit No. 400 against the A's. Ted Williams hit his 400th against the Kansas City A's and Carl Yastrzesmki hit No. 400 against Oakland, too.
Ortiz's cell phone was buzzing throughout the afternoon with texts and messages of congratulations from other players in the game. He estimated that he received "30 or 40.''
In his next at-bat following the historic homer, the A's public address announcer pointed out that Ortiz had reached the milestone two innings earlier, earning Ortiz a length ovation from the fans as he tipped his helmet in appreciation.
"That was pretty cool,'' he said of the reception. "You get something like that done on the road and people really appreciate it, it's (nice to get) appreciation.''
When he connected off Griffin, Ortiz had a pretty good idea that No. 400 had arrived. During the seven-game trip, he had hit a handful of balls to the warning track, but understood this one had the distance.
But after going six games without hitting a homer, he wasn't worried.
"To be honest with you, I wasn't worried (about when it was going to come),'' he said. "I was just swinging like a normally do and not trying to do too much.''
His teammates greeted him when he returned to the dugout and shared in the celebration.
"That was awesome,'' gushed Cody Ross. "Everyone was just waiting for it. It seemed like every pitch, he had a chance to do it. Once it went in the air, there was just a sigh for him, especially for him, just to get that weight off his shoulders. I'm just so happy for him and proud of him.
"It's a huge accomplishment.''

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

The Cardinals broke open a close game with four runs in the last two innings against Red Sox relief prospect Chandler Shepherd and went on to a 7-2 exhibition victory over Boston yesterday at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers.

Red Sox-Cardinals box score

The loss dropped the Sox to 1-3 for the exhibition season.

Boston had jumped on top, 1-0, on an RBI single by Mitch Moreland in the bottom of the first, but St. Louis countered with two runs in the second and one in the third, all against starter Brian Johnson. It remained 3-1 until the Cards touched Shepherd for two runs in the eighth and two in the ninth. The Red Sox added their final run in the bottom of the ninth when catcher Jordan Procyshen, who spent last season at Single-A Salem, hit a sacrifice fly.

Moreland, Xander Bogaerts and Chris Young each had two hits for the Red Sox. who also got scoreless relief from Teddy Stankiewicz, Noe Ramirez, Robby Scott, Kyle Martin and Brandon Workman. It was Bogaerts' last game before leaving to compete for The Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.

The Sox host the Yankees on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m.

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia is no stranger to injuries. That's a big reason why he's no longer a stranger to the sometimes peculiar practices of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

In an interview on WEEI's "Bradfo Show," Pedroia told Rob Bradford that he's been taking cues from the five-time Super Bowl-winning QB to help extend his playing career and make his body healthier and more durable.

“I understand what he does and know what he does. I think it’s awesome,” Pedroia told Bradford. “There’s a reason why he’s successful at his age (39), and he looks better now than he did when he first came to the league. You have to be smarter as you get older and learn different styles -- the way to train and the way you take care of your body to be able to perform and stay on the field. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing. He’s definitely got that figured out.”

Pedroia, of course, played the entire 2013 World Series-winning season with a torn ligament in his thumb. He's battled through various other lower body and hand injuries over the past few seasons, as well. But in 2016, he had his best season in recent memory, posting his highest OPS since 2011, as WEEI notes.

Part of that is with his own take on the Brady approach -- which focuses more on pliability and resistance training than extensive, heavy weight lifting -- and a healthier overall lifestyle, something Brady is notoriously infamous for having.

"There’s tons of ways to take care of your body. It’s not just get in the weight room and throw weights around,” Pedroia explained. “As you get older, the human body can’t take the pounding if you’re going in there and power lifting. When you’re younger, you can handle some of that. But as you get older, you got to be smarter. Sometimes less is more -- whether that’s weight or reps or whatever. You’ve just got to be smart. And eating wise, that’s a big part of recovery. If you put the right foods in your body, you’ll heal faster if you’re injured or recover faster. It’s like a car, man. Put bad gas in, bro. It’s not going to be the same as good gas.”

He hopes the approach can, at the very least, keep him moving for quite some time.

“I plan on living until I’m 100," he said. "So we’re not even halfway home."