It was a historic night for Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, whose two home runs powered the Sox over the Houston Astros 10-7 at Fenway Park on Saturday night. Ortiz ended up with six RBIs on the night, but his offensive production was highlighted by his first homer of the night, which was his 400th blast in a Red Sox uniform. It was a home run that moved the man they call Big Papi into elite territory, as he joined Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski as the only players to hit 400 homers while playing with the Red Sox.
The night, however, didn’t start off favorable for the Red Sox. Young pitcher Rubby De La Rosa struggled early. The Astros scored five runs in the first three innings to grab a 5-1 lead, highlighted by a two-run double by Gregorio Petit. After Ortiz knocked his first two-run homer into the stands to cut the lead to 5-3, the Astros answered with a solo homer off the bat of Chris Carter to increase the lead back to 6-3. Overall it was a disappointing pitching performance for De La Rosa, especially after coming off of two solid starts on the road.
But the offense bailed him out. Big Papi knocked his second two-run homer off starter Brad Peacock to slice the score to 6-5 in the sixth. The game was then tied on a sacrifice fly by Daniel Nava and another sacrifice by Jackie Bradley Jr. put the Red Sox ahead 7-6. The team never looked back after that as Ortiz drove in two more runs with a two-run double in the eighth. His six RBI night drew a standing ovation from the Fenway faithful after he was lifted for a pinch-runner.
It was the type of offensive performance fans have come accustomed to from Ortiz. But Saturday night put him in some pretty extraordinary company. After the game Big Papi mentioned how honored he was to be in the same category as two of the greats. He said, “It’s an honor to be mentioned with those legends that were with the Red Sox. When you come to this organization to play, you’re not expecting to be mentioned with those guys.”
Red Sox reliever Alex Wilson (1-0) got the win and Josh Fields (2-6) got the loss for the Astros. The Red Sox have take two of three from the Astros after losing game two in extra innings. The six runs allowed by De La Rosa were the most runs he has given up at Fenway Park. Right-handed pitcher Joe Kelly looks for his first victory in a Red Sox uniform when the two teams conclude a four-game series on Sunday. Ortiz now has 459 home runs in his career. The first 58 came while he was a member of the Minnesota Twins.