Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Baseball [Print without images]

Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Ortiz fuming after being rung up

By Mike Reiss
ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- On a day in which the Red Sox struggled to generate offense, with just three hits through the first eight innings, designated hitter David Ortiz was a bright spot with two sharply hit singles.

Yet what happened in the ninth inning Wednesday had him steamed after the game.

David Ortiz
David Ortiz expresses his displeasure after being called out on strikes in the ninth inning.

Ortiz came to the plate with one out, J.D. Drew on second, and the Red Sox trailing the Blue Jays 3-1. He was rung up on a called third strike by plate umpire Dale Scott on a pitch that replays showed was well off the outside corner.

When reporters approached Ortiz after the game, he waved them off.

"I'm too mad right now," Ortiz said. "I'm too [expletive] pissed off right now. Just write down whatever you guys want. Just leave it like that. You all know what's up."

Asked if he saw a replay of the called third strike, Ortiz said he didn't have to.

"Thank God I wasn't hitting right-handed because that would have hit me in the ribs," he said.

Manager Terry Francona had come out of the dugout after Ortiz argued with Scott. When the Red Sox's next hitter, Adrian Beltre, had words with Scott after asking him to check with the first-base umpire on a checked swing, Francona came out of the dugout again and was ejected.

While it was a disappointing ending for Ortiz, it didn't completely overshadow a day that lifted his batting average to .200 and marked his third multihit performance in eight games this month. He's 9-for-29 with three home runs and seven RBIs over that span.

"He's put a lot of hard work in and you're starting to see the results of it now," hitting coach Dave Magadan said.

"I think he's consistently putting good swings on balls," Magadan said. "He's ready on time. He's a little more direct to the ball. The guys that are throwing 93, 94, 95, he's getting to those pitches and he's seeing the offspeed better. When you don't have to start earlier, or cheat a little bit to get to the hard stuff, you tend to take nasty breaking balls. He's done a better job of that."

Magadan was asked if he's noticed that Ortiz's confidence is rising.

"He's always been confident," Magadan said. "He's always had the attitude that it's just a matter of time before he breaks out of it. We all have confidence that it's going to happen. He looks too good in his pregame work and his prep before the game and his routine for it to not eventually show up in the game. He's starting to show signs of it now."

Mike Reiss covers the Patriots and occasionally the Red Sox for ESPN Boston. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.