- Gordon Edes, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- David Ortiz gave New York fans something to remember him by Thursday night in Yankee Stadium, connecting for home runs in each of his first two at-bats against Yankees left-hander Chris Capuano.
But the 46th multi-home run game of Ortiz's career, fifth this season, merely added to a record he would prefer not to own. No one, according to home run historian David Vincent, has had more multi-homer games in his career without hitting three home runs in a game at least once.
"I was trying, I'm not going to lie to you," Ortiz told reporters afterward.
Until this season, Ortiz was second in that dubious distinction to Vladimir Guerrero of the Expos and Angels, who did it 42 times. But he passed his Dominican countryman this season.
According to ESPN Stats and Information, Ortiz's first home run measured at 361 feet, and would only have gone out in Yankee Stadium. Yankees right fielder Ichiro Suzuki had turned his back to the plate, hoping for a carom.
The second one traveled 405 feet, and would have played in Yellowstone.
With the score tied at 3 in the fifth, Yankees manager Joe Girardi went to his bullpen to bring in another former Sox left-hander, Rich Hill, to face Ortiz, who offered and missed at a slider for strike three. Ortiz had one more at-bat, in the eighth against right-handed reliever Adam Warren, and flied out to center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
Brock Holt had homered to give the Sox a 4-3 lead in the fifth, but the Yankees won in the ninth on home runs by Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley off closer Koji Uehara. The Sox have hit three or more home runs in a game just six times this season, twice in this series. They had won all five previous games.
Since 2003, when Ortiz became an everyday player, only Albert Pujols (46) has more multi-HR games than Papi (44).
A Red Sox player has hit three home runs in a game 26 times, with Will Middlebrooks being the last on April 7, 2013, in Toronto. Ted Williams did it three times in his career, including twice in the span of five weeks in 1957, when he was 38, the same age as Ortiz.
Mo Vaughn, Jim Rice and Nomar Garciaparra all did it twice. Perhaps the most unlikely Sox player to hit three in a game was Norm Zauchin, who was batting .214 with one home run and five RBIs when he hit three home runs and a bases-loaded double, driving in 10 runs, in a 16-0 rout of Washington on May 27, 1955. Zauchin hit 27 home runs that season, and hit just 23 over the final four seasons of his career.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.