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Thursday, July 11, 2013

David Ortiz: Greatest DH In MLB History? He's Got the Hits To Back it Up


One of the best parts about baseball is the history, none of the other major sports in America can instantly conjure up so many memories of past legends like MLB. That's what makes routine 11-4 blowout wins for the Red Sox (56-37 overall, 25-21 away) like tonight against the Mariners (40-51 overall, 22-24 home) at Safeco Field more memorable than you'd think.

David Ortiz was 2 for 3 with a two-run homer, double, sacrifice fly and two runs as he became the all-time leader in hits (1670 after tonight) for a designated hitter. He passed Harold Baines while former Mariners great Edgar Martinez is generally regarded as the best DH even though he's not in the Baseball Hall of Fame (he should be). Let the endless debates begin!

Ortiz's amazing season and by extension career was the obvious individual storyline but for the Red Sox as a team, it was the continued improvement of Felix Doubront (7 innings, 1 earned run, 5 hits, 6 strikeouts, 2 walks) who notched his third quality start in a row. Like John Lackey, Boston really needs Doubront (6-3) to pitch well since Jon Lester has been awful after April and Clay Buchholz hasn't pitched for over a month now.

It always helps when the Red Sox score double-digit runs (for the second straight game and the 11th time this season) with 12 hits and seven walks. In fact the winning team in the first three games of this series has scored 11 runs each time.

Jacoby Ellsbury was 3 for 4 with two runs, a double and RBI, extending his hitting streak to an MLB-best 18 games. Shane Victorino went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a run.

Boston went up 9-0 by the sixth inning so they were able to comfortably withstand rookie reliever Brandon Workman's shaky MLB debut. He allowed three runs in the eighth including a solo homer to light-hitting Brendan Ryan-the first batter he faced. He rebounded nicely though to get a 1-2-3 ninth and more importantly, save Boston's patchwork bullpen.

The Red Sox will try to win the series (3 out of 4) tomorrow afternoon (3:40, NESN) as Ryan Dempster (5-8) faces Erasmo Ramirez (0-0) who's making his first start of 2013.






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