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News » Red Sox batters rough up Orioles Ortiz triples, doubles off Green Monster


Red Sox batters rough up Orioles Ortiz triples, doubles off Green Monster


Red Sox batters rough up Orioles Ortiz triples, doubles off Green Monster
rchimelis@repub.com

BOSTON - Big Papi came roaring back Monday, and the Boston Red Sox took another step toward restoring order to the American League East.

With a lopsided 12-1 victory over Baltimore before 37,865 at Fenway Park, the Sox swept the four-game series and moved past the Orioles in the standings.

The long season is barely under way, but Boston is back in the plus column with a 7-6 record as it chases Toronto, the division's surprise early leader.

David Ortiz went 2-for-4 with a double and a triple. He still has no home runs and a .196 average, but the ball was jumping off his bat, which made him look like the Big Papi of old. In his first 47 at-bats before Monday, Ortiz had managed only one extra-base hit, a double.

"I have always started slowly, and had that funk," said Ortiz, who drove in two sixth-inning runs with the triple to left center.

"I don't really think about it, because that just adds more pressure. But everybody knows that, hitting in the middle of the lineup, I've got to produce."

To Ortiz, it's all about mechanics. He has been working with hitting coach Dave Magadan, and thinks the results will start to show.

"(Physically), this is the best I have felt in years," Ortiz said. "It's all about getting my stroke back.

"When we were on the West Coast (last week), I was jumping at the breaking ball. It's different now."

It did not hurt that Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia, hitting in front of Ortiz, combined to go 7-for-12. Breaking out of early season slumps, they scored three runs each.

"That's why you don't panic in the first two weeks of the season," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

"Everything gets blown out of proportion, but if you're good, it will show."

It showed with Ortiz, who slugged the ball to left field and left-center.

"When you're driving the ball with authority, the opposite way like that, something has to be going right," Francona said.

"And any hitter would rather hit with men on base. Holes are open . . . people say hitting is contagious, and that's why."

The Red Sox scored 30 runs in the series and lifted their team batting average from .242 to .268.

Pedroia and Ellsbury were a combined 17-for-38, raising their averages to .268 and .281, respectively.

The Sox jumped on Orioles starter Mark Hendrickson for two quick runs in the first, but it was still 3-1 until the the sixth, when the 6-foot-10 left-hander turned it over to the bullpen.

That could be a big problem this season for Orioles, who look weak in the pitching department.

Hendrickson (1-2) allowed hits to the first three batters he faced, but only two more before leaving after five. In the next two innings, the Red Sox lit up three O's relievers for nine runs and 10 hits.

The 12 runs and 15 hits were season highs, and more than enough support for Justin Masterson (1-0), whose first start was a sturdy effort of 5 innings.

He allowed one run and four hits.

Ortiz had his second two-hit game in three contests. The sixth-inning triple was his 14th in 4,635 career at-bats.

Jason Varitek and Mike Lowell had two hits each, and Varitek clubbed his third home run.

This game marked the big league debut of Hunter Jones, 25, a left-hander who came from Pawtucket when Daisuke Matsuzaka went on the disabled list last week.

Only one batter reached base off Jones in the ninth, and that was on an error.

"He got a ball, the lineup card and some outs," Francona said. "It was a good day."

Red Sox 12

Orioles 1


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 23, 2009

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