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David Ortiz on Red Sox offensive struggles: ‘It’s like a disease going around’

05.22.14 at 8:27 pm ET
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Red Sox slugger David Ortiz had never seen anything like this. In 12 seasons with the Red Sox, he’d never before seen an entire homestand of six or more games that didn’t feature a single victory.

But with Thursday’s 7-2 blowout at the hands of the Blue Jays, he’s now encountered that first. The Sox lost all six games by a combined 33-13 spread.

“It’s crazy. We were just talking about it,” said Ortiz. “It’s crazy seeing things going down like that. Just got to come back out and start playing better, man.”

The Sox were outplayed in every facet of the game during the rut, suffering a one-run loss in the first game of the homestand but then enduring defeats of five, four, three, two and five runs that were relatively non-competitive. No member of the Red Sox was free of fault for the struggle, but the offense was woeful, failing to score more than four runs in any game, and scoring two or fewer in four of the six contests. The Sox have scored no more than four runs in nine straight home games, the longest such streak since 1968.

“It’s like a disease going around. Nobody’s really doing much,” said Ortiz. “We’re going to need to go back in and try to do something, something different.”

Ortiz played a significant role in the lack of offense, going 2-for-22 with four walks on the homestand, and finishing 0-for-17.

“They pitched me tough. I’ve got to try to figure it out everyday. Everybody is being pitched tough, too. It’s just one of those times, you know, we go through this bump in the road as we call it. Just got to bounce back tomorrow, be better, execute better as pitchers and get a ‘W’ out of the way,” he said. “I don’t think about it. Just keep on swinging. I will get hot. Trust me.”

While the absence of Mike Napoli in the lineup removed a valued source of lineup protection in recent days, Ortiz suggested that it didn’t make a drastic difference in pitchers’ approach to him.

“As long as my jersey says Ortiz on the back, the already know. They don’t care [who's hitting behind him],” he said. “But when Napoli’s in the lineup, the lineup’s better. Hopefully he comes back and helps us out to win some games.”

Despite the recent struggles, which left Ortiz with a .275 average, .371 OBP and .521 slugging mark, Ortiz vowed to remain unbowed.

“I don’t know [what the team's attitude will be on Friday], but I can tell you about mine: I’m going to come back tomorrow and kick some ass,” he said.

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