By Dan Roche, WBZ-TV SportsBy Dan Roche

BOSTON (CBS) – David Ortiz delivered a simple message via Twitter following the Red Sox four-game sweep of the Houston Astros on Sunday.

“Great series Red Sox Nation. #BostonStrong”

It was indeed a great series for John Farrell’s crew as Boston improved to a major league best 18-7 on the season.

Now, I don’t care if the sweep came against the lowly Astros; a team that should be playing in Triple-A this season. It was the third sweep of the season for the Sox which matches their number of sweeps in all of 2012.

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One thing to focus in on and appreciate is what we’re seeing is David Ortiz.

There were some out there who didn’t think Big Papi would return (because his Achilles was so bad) or even should return (because of how well the Sox were doing without him).

They were wrong on both cases.

David Ortiz is simply amazing. Just take a look at these numbers courtesy of the Red Sox PR folks:

– Oritz has hit safely in each of his last 20 games overall dating back to 7/2/12, setting a new career-long hit streak. He is batting .471 (33-for-70) over the streak with seven doubles, four home runs, 17 RBI, and 15 walks.

– Ortiz is the fourth Red Sox player to hit safely in 20+ games over two season since 1916. The last time it happened was Manny Ramirez’s 22-gamer spanning his last 13 games of 2001 and his first nine games of 2002.

– Ortiz has it safely in his eight games since returning from the DL on April 20, going 16-for-31 (.516) with five doubles, two HR, 11 RBI, and seven runs. It extends his career-high stretch to begin a season (previously six in 2005), and is the longest by any Sox to start a season since 2008: Jed Lowrie (8, 4/15-26) and J.D. Drew (8, 4/2-11).

– Ortiz has driven in a run in seven of his eight games, including at least one RBI in his last five contests since 4/24 (nine total).

David Ortiz is 37 years-old. He’s not supposed to be doing these things at his age. But David Ortiz welcomes the doubters, the haters — call them what you will. David Ortiz would say something that we can’t print about those people. However, they are essential to his performance; they are his fuel.

The best part of what Ortiz is doing at the plate is that he’s using all parts of the field and he’s hitting the ball hard as well. It’s a pleasure to watch, and I have to believe his teammates are in awe of what they are seeing.

How long will it last? Who knows. However, if you’re a fan of the game, simply soak it all in. Each at-bat is a must-watch event right now.

If David Ortiz keeps this up, then maybe one day we’ll see him in the Hall of Fame. Edgar Martinez and David Ortiz. The best designated hitters we’ve ever seen. It would be nice.

But, that debate is for another day. Today, we simply tip our cap and appreciate one of the greatest hitters in Red Sox history.

Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on Twitter @RochieWBZ.

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