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David Ortiz reflects on milestone night, career with Red Sox 08.17.14 at 10:10 am ET
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There aren’t many players in major league history that can categorize themselves with Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski. Just the idea of someone doing so would seem blasphemous to most Red Sox fans.

David Ortiz, however, is a rare exception. And he verified that with another landmark night on Saturday.

The slugger launched home runs No. 400 and 401 in a Red Sox uniform in a six RBI showcase against the Astros, becoming just the third player in club history to reach that mark.

The other two players to reach that milestone? Williams (521 home runs) and Yastrzemski (452).

“It’s an honor to be up there mentioned with those legends,” Ortiz said after his 3-for-5 night that led the Sox to a 10-7 win. “You’re not expecting to be mentioned with those guys.”

Red Sox manager John Farrell said what’s most impressive about Ortiz’s accomplishment is the pace in which he did it. Ortiz is in the midst of his 12th season with the Sox and reached the 400 home run mark in the third inning of career game No. 1,630.

Williams reached that plateau in the middle of his 15th season. Yastrzemski in his 19th.

“When you consider how many fewer games he’s done it in is really remarkable,” Farrell said. “He’s in rare company with the two other guys he’s now linked to. To see it in roughly 60 percent of the games with one and almost half the games of the other. It’s amazing what he’s been able to do here.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Closing Time: David Ortiz ignites Red Sox with two home runs to lead comeback win over Astros 08.16.14 at 11:01 pm ET
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David Ortiz homered twice (the 400th and 401st homers of his Red Sox career) and drove in six runs on Saturday. (Getty Images)

David Ortiz homered twice (the 400th and 401st homers of his Red Sox career) and drove in six runs on Saturday. (Getty Images)

The Red Sox were in need of a spark, and David Ortiz gave them just that.

The lefty slugger hit a pair of two-run home runs, including one in the fifth that started a four-run rally, and a two-run double in the eighth to lift the Sox to a 10-7 comeback win over the Astros Saturday night at Fenway Park.

Ortiz went 3-for-5 for the game with a career-high six RBIs, the fifth time he’s achieved that single-game feat in his career.

The homers were Ortiz’s 400th and 401st in a Red Sox uniform, making him just the third player in club history to reach that mark behind Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski, who had 521 and 452, respectively. Saturday marked his fourth multi-home run game of the season and 45th of his career.

While the blast on an 0-2 changeup in the bottom of the third was the milestone, the second one proved to be most important.

A poor outing from starter Rubby De La Rosa left the Sox in a 6-3 hole entering the fifth. But Ortiz ignited a rally with a homer just inside the right-field foul pole to cut the deficit to one.

The Sox had luck on their side in the inning as well. Yoenis Cespedes reached second one batter later after Houston first baseman Jon Singleton dropped an easy pop fly on the infield grass. Cespedes stole third and scored on an RBI single by Daniel Nava to tie the game. Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to left.

The Red Sox improved to 56-66 with the win.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
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David Ortiz on losing Jon Lester: ‘What can you do about it?’ 08.04.14 at 5:54 am ET
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David Ortiz is obviously not thrilled Jon Lester is gone.

Outside of that, the designated hitter is just sitting back and waiting.

“We’ll see how it goes,” Ortiz told WEEI.com regarding the Red Sox‘ recent trade of Lester and Jonny Gomes to the Athletics for Yoenis Cespedes. “It’s a game you have to prepare for whatever and go from there. We’ll see. You never know what can happen in the offseason … I’ve got to come in still and do what I’ve got to do, right?”

He added, “It’s part of the game. It’s not what you want to see, but I’ve seen it happen before. What can you do about it?”

This one might be a bit different for the slugger, however.

Lester was, along with Dustin Pedroia and Ortiz, one of the holdovers from the Red Sox‘ last two World Series championship teams, having teamed with the DH to help carry last year’s club to its title.

The dynamic was such a unique one — with the key players in the clubhouse expressing unbridled loyalty toward Lester — that the front office offered at least some communication on the edges of the deal.

“We had some conversations, but they didn’t have to explain to me exactly what they were trying to do,” Ortiz said. ” ‘We’re going to make this move …’ and afterwards, ‘We did this move because of this or that.’ It’s not like I’m going to be all depressed of that. You win as a group. You don’t win as one person.”

Now comes the plea for patience.

Will the likes of Cespedes and Allen Craig give Ortiz more pitches to hit?

“I don’t know,” the DH said. “We’ll see.”

Will the Red Sox be able to find the necessary pitching?

“It’€™s going to happen. I think it’€™s going to happen. It’€™s just a matter of time,” Ortiz said. “The offseason is going to be interesting to see how it goes, because you’€™re not going to get anything for free in today’€™s game. You’€™re going to have to pay.”

And, most importantly, might Lester return?

“He’€™s going to be a free agent, and I know for a fact Oakland isn’t going to be able to pay him,” Ortiz explained. “So it’€™s going to be either here, L.A., Yankees. One of those. One of the big teams.”

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Closing Time: Clay Buchholz fails to deliver once again as Yankees take 2 of 3 at Fenway 08.03.14 at 11:51 pm ET
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It was an ideal scenario for Clay Buchholz.

Taking the hill Sunday against the Yankees for the first time as the new de-facto leader of a gutted Red Sox rotation, Buchholz was given seven runs of support from a normally listless Red Sox lineup.

And yet — as its been for most of the 2014 season — Buchholz found a way to hand a win to an opposing team, surrendering seven runs on eight hits while walking five in five innings en route to an 8-7 Yankees victory at Fenway Park.

Buchholz labored throughout his outing, repeatedly failing to hold leads. After Boston jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the first inning, Buchholz responded by giving up three runs of his own in the second to knot the game at 3-3.

A similar scenario occurred in the top of the fifth inning. After the Red Sox tacked on an additional two runs in the bottom of the fourth to push the score to 7-4 in favor of Boston, Buchholz allowed three runs in the next frame to once again tie the score at seven runs apiece.

Buchholz has allowed 14 earned runs over his last 10 innings while his usual strong command has withered — walking 13 batters over his last three outings.

“I think there’€™s maybe a little bit of a tendency to pitch a little bit too fine that’€™s caused him to fall behind in the count,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the game. “Mechanically, he may be running away from his arm a little bit where it’€™s causing some pitches to be missed up to the arm side, but still, it’€™s the overall pitch mix and command to each.”

Buchholz spoiled an impressive showing from a Boston lineup that scored at least seven runs for the first time since the team doled out 14 runs against the Blue Jays on July 21.

Boston’s offensive outburst was highlighted by a pair of two-run home runs from David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia, as well as a two-run single from Daniel Nava in the first inning.

“€œWe swung the bats pretty good the last few days, so we’ve got to build on that, we’ve just got to find a way to score more than the other team,” Pedroia said.

While the score tied entering the top of the sixth inning, Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner crushed an offering from Craig Breslow into the seats behind the Red Sox bullpen, giving New York a one-run lead that it would not relinquish.

With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 49-62 on the season and have lost 10 of their last 12 games.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX 

– Buchholz did little to instill confidence in those doubting his ability to take over as ace of the Red Sox rotation going forward, allowing seven earned runs for the second start in a row while walking five batters. After allowing just five runs over 22 1/3 innings from July 1-13, Buchholz has surrendered 23 runs over his last 22 innings of work.

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Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz react to Jon Lester’s potential departure: ‘We’re not teammates, we’re family’ 07.30.14 at 12:49 am ET
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The atmosphere in the Red Sox clubhouse was eerily somber following the team’s 4-2 loss at the hands of the Blue Jays Tuesday night. However, this aura of disappointment was not due to the numbers on the scoreboard, but rather the growing realization that one of the Red Sox‘ most beloved players might not be at his locker the following morning.

Red Sox manager John Farrell confirmed after the game that Jon Lester, who has been the focus of trade rumors for the past few weeks, would not make his scheduled start Wednesday, further adding to the belief that the southpaw’s days in Boston are numbered. One general manager told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford that a deal could be struck as soon as Wednesday morning.

While Lester’s performance on the mound (10-7, 2.52 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) will be difficult for Boston to replicate if he is indeed dealt, the possibility of losing the lefty’s presence in the clubhouse struck a much deeper chord with some of his teammates.

For veteran leaders like Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz, the impact of Lester’s potential departure goes far beyond the box score.

“It’s tough. We’re not teammates, we’re family,” Pedroia said. “It’s something that you don’t like going through.  It makes you feel worse. We don’t want to be in this position. … We should be adding instead of subtracting, so hopefully he’s here.”

Pedroia continued: “We’ve got a big game to play and we want him pitching it. … It would be tough to see him in another uniform.”

Said Ortiz: “Lester is like a brother to me. [Pedroia] was right, we’ve been together for a long period of time. Just because of the fact that all of these trade rumors are going around and him being scratched tomorrow, it can get a little complicated. We’ll see how that works.”

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David Ortiz fires back at criticism from Rays pitcher Chris Archer 07.27.14 at 7:58 pm ET
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — When David Ortiz launched a three-run homer that ultimately propelled the Red Sox to a 3-2 victory over the Rays, he enjoyed it. His opponent did not.

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Ortiz decimated an elevated Chris Archer changeup and sent it rocketing into the far reaches of the right field bleachers in the Tropicana Dome. He admired his work, then flung his bat to punctuate his blast before circling the bases. In an echo of comments made earlier this season by Archer’s teammate, David Price, Archer (a 25-year-old who has appeared in 49 career big league games), suggested that Ortiz acted without a proper sense of decorum. Read the rest of this entry »

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David Ortiz: Trading Jon Lester ‘sounds like a rebuilding … Hopefully he sticks around’ at 7:29 pm ET
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David Ortiz, who slammed his fifth homer of the seven-game road trip on Sunday to propel the Red Sox to a 3-2 victory over the Rays, took stock of his team at a time when it’s prepared to return to Fenway Park nine games below .500, with rumors swirling of players who might get moved in the coming four days. Ortiz made clear that his preference is to see the Red Sox keep Jon Lester and work to regain their footing with the left-hander.

“Like I always say, I’€™m just another player here where I’€™ve got no choice but to agree with whatever,” Ortiz said. “The front office is hard to do and they’€™ve been talking about trading Jon. That sounds like a rebuilding, that type of situation. I don’€™t know. There’€™s not much I can say about it but they’€™ve probably got their reason to do it. Hopefully it doesn’€™t happen. Lester is one of the best pitchers in the game. That’€™s a keeper. … Hopefully he sticks around and keeps on giving us those good seasons that he always does give us.”

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