BOSTON (CBS) – After tying Harold Baines for the most hits all-time by a designated hitter on Tuesday night, David Ortiz did not wait long to claim the top spot.
Ortiz clubbed his 1,689th career hit as a DH in his first at-bat Wednesday night in Seattle, lining an Aaron Harang offering into left-center for his 22nd double of the season. After the hit, Ortiz received an ovation from the Safeco Field crowd – made up of it’s fair share of Red Sox fans – a gesture the Sox DH appreciated.
“It was great. The fans, they look forward to watching guys breaking records and getting to a certain level,” Ortiz said after the 11-4 Red Sox win. “They really appreciate that.”
Roche: Appreciating Papi
“It’s good to be mentioned with some of the greatest hitters that ever played the game,” Ortiz said of the likes of Baines and former Mariners DH Edgar Martinez. “I used to love to watch Edgar. He was a wonderful hitter.”
Ortiz said he will eventually look back at the accomplishment when his career is over, but now his focus is on helping the team win.
Help his team win he has – to the tune of 8-for-10 at the plate in Boston’s last two wins over the Mariners. In addition to his record-setting double in the second inning, Ortiz launched a massive two-run blast in the fourth to put Boston up 4-0. It was Ortiz’s team-leading 19th homer of the season, and he’s now up to 65 RBIs – also tops on the Red Sox.
When asked what has prompted such a surge at the plate, Ortiz had another one of his silly exchanges with WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jonny Miller.
“What you mean lately?” Ortiz asked. “I’ve been hitting .300 the whole season. What are you watching?”
It really has been a remarkable season for Ortiz, who missed the first 15 games as he recovered from an Achilles injury that sidelined him in 2012. Despite the missed time, Ortiz still leads the Red Sox in home runs, RBIs, and batting average (.331) and OBP (.412).
Now he finds himself on top of the DH world, though he’s been up there for a while. Ortiz already held the record for most doubles, home runs, RBIs and runs scored by a designated hitter – so Wednesday night’s accomplishment just further cements his legacy as one of, if not the best, DH of all-time.