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Pedroia to Ortiz critics: Relax, people

05.04.10 at 11:01 pm ET

Dustin Pedroia defended teammate David Ortiz after the Red Sox slugger struck out twice and hit into a pair of double plays, including one with the bases loaded and none out in a 1-1 game in the eighth inning Tuesday. The Red Sox won the game, 5-1, thanks to Jeremy Hermida’s three-run double after Ortiz’s 4-2-3 double play in the eighth.

But Ortiz heard the boos and is now hitting just .149 in 67 at-bats this season with three homers and six RBI.

“David’s fine,” Pedroia said. “He’s one of our teammates. It could’ve been me that hit into a double play. It happens to everybody, man. He’s had 60 at-bats. A couple of years ago, I was hitting .170 and everyone was ready to kill me too. What happened? Laser show, so relax. I’m tired of looking at the NESN poll, ‘Why is David struggling?’ David’s fine. He’s one of our teammates. We believe in him. He came out of it last year, he’s going to come out of it this year.

“It’s 25 guys, man. We met the other day. We need everybody to win. This isn’t two or three guys who are going to carry a team. We need everybody to help us win games. We have each other’s backs and we’re ready for the long haul. We started out [crappy] but we’re going to come out of it. We believe that.”

[Click here to listen to Pedroia’s postgame defense of David Ortiz.]

As for Hermida, the man who picked up Papi in the eighth inning with a three-run, go-ahead double, he said Ortiz was the first to congratulate him when he came around to score on Mike Lowell’s double to make it 5-1.

“He was one of the first guys to come up to me and said, ‘Way to pick me up,'” Hermida said. “That shows what kind of teammate he is and what kind of guy he is. He realizes there’s only so much he can do out there. He squared up a ball but unfortunately it was right at somebody. Fortunately, we were able to come through and get the knock when we needed it.”

Read More: David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Jeremy Hermida, Red Sox
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