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So why did David Ortiz try and steal that base?

04.10.12 at 2:32 am ET
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TORONTO ‘€“ Lost in the fury that was the Red Sox‘€™ ninth-inning comeback Monday night at Rogers Centre was a most curious decision by David Ortiz.

With one out in the seventh inning, Ryan Sweeney at the plate, and the Red Sox trailing by a run, Ortiz decided it was time to attempt a steal of second.

And while the play was close, the risk resulted in Toronto catcher J.P. Arencibia throwing out the designated hitter thanks to a quick tag by shortstop Yunel Escobar.

So, why did Ortiz execute his first stolen base attempt since July 25 of last season, when he got gunned down in Kansas City?

‘€œI’€™ve got the first baseman playing behind me,’€ Ortiz said. ‘€œI’€™m feeling a little faster this year. There you go.’€

But as surprising as the race to second was for a player has a career 11 steals in 19 attempts, the timing was even more perplexing.

Still, according to Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, there was a method to the madness.

‘€œ[First base coach Alex Ochoa] and David have been talking about it,’€ Valentine explained. ‘€œIf they’€™re going to play behind him, if he can get a good jump and they can pick a good pitch. ‘€¦ I don’€™t know if a one-run game in the seventh inning is a little dicey, I’€™d say. You know, it’€™s going to get guys to hold him on base and create a hole for the guys who are hitting behind him. I think it’€™s a necessary strategy.’€

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