BOSTON (AP) -- David Ortiz tried something different, but had a
Ortiz capped a 4-for-5 day with a single the other way through a
shifted infield with two outs in the 11th inning, giving the Boston
Red Sox a 7-6 comeback win over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday.
Ortiz drove in four runs, helping the Red Sox rally to spoil
Angels rookie Jered Weaver's attempt to become the first pitcher in
25 years to win his first eight major league starts.
Ortiz hit his major league-leading 35th homer and had a pair of
RBI singles to raise his major league-leading RBI total to 99. The
Red Sox, who moved 1½ games ahead of the Yankees atop the AL East,
have been in sole possession of first place since June 18.
The winner this time was no towering drive into the seats or
hard line drive to right. It was just a little roller that found
its way into an opening.
Alex Gonzalez singled with one out in the 11th off Hector
Carrasco (2-3) and Kevin Youkilis singled. After Carrasco struck
out Mark Loretta, Ortiz greeted left-hander J.C. Romero with a slow
rolling single through the regular shortstop position before being
mobbed by his teammates at first base as Gonzalez raced home from
"The guy was throwing a hard sinker. If I try to pull it, it's
a ground ball to first," said Ortiz, wearing dark sunglasses. "I
go the other way. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. In a
situation like that you want to try it."
Manny Ramirez threw out Mike Napoli at home in the top of the
11th, with catcher Jason Varitek taking the one-hop throw while
blocking the plate, but it was Ortiz's heroics that were the topic
of Boston's clubhouse for his fourth game-ending hit of the season
and his 11th with the Red Sox.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia agreed that Romero is likely to get
a lot of grounders.
"You put (J.C.) in and try to play the percentages," Scioscia
said of the shift. "(Ortiz) decided to stay inside one and punch
it through that hole."
Red Sox reliever Jonathan Papelbon is still amazed by Ortiz's
"To have that guy on your team, to be able to take the pressure
off your teammates and to be able to carry the team on his back is
amazing," Papelbon said. "He's the type of guy that enjoys that
role. We're going to ride him a lot."
Julian Tavarez (2-3) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.
Boston trailed 6-3 in the eighth, but rallied with three runs
against reliever Scot Shields.
Curtis Pride hit his first homer in more than three years, a
tiebreaking two-run shot in the seventh, to give the Angels a 5-3
But the Angels' bullpen couldn't hold it for Weaver, who allowed
more than two runs in a game for the first time. The 23-year-old
right-hander gave up three runs, seven hits, struck out four and
walked two over 6 2-3 innings, but his ERA rose from a paltry 1.15
Fernando Valenzuela, who pitched for the Dodgers, won his first
eight big league starts in 1981.
Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 14 games, his longest
since 2003, with an eighth-inning single.
Ortiz hit a towering drive into the center-field bleachers to
open the eighth against Shields, and Ramirez and Trot Nixon
followed with consecutive singles. Both runners then moved up on a
wild pitch by Shields before Mike Lowell tied it at 6 with a bloop
ground-rule double to right off Francisco Rodriguez.
Rodriguez got out of a first-and-second jam in the ninth when
Ramirez bounced into an inning-ending double play.
Pride, recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake on July 25, homered with
two outs into the Red Sox bullpen off Craig Hansen after Chone
Figgins singled leading off.
The Angels scored twice in the first before Boston cut it to 2-1
in the bottom half on Ortiz's RBI single.
Los Angeles made it 3-1 in the fifth without getting a hit.
Figgins drew a one-out walk, stole second and stole third as the
front end of a double steal after Izturis walked. Figgins then
scored on Cabrera's bouncer to short, slapping his hand onto the
plate just under Varitek's tag.
The Red Sox tied it with a pair of runs in the bottom of the
inning. Ortiz had an RBI single and Ramirez a sacrifice fly.
Boston starter Josh Beckett failed to become the majors' first
14-game winner, giving up three runs and four hits while walking
four and striking out six in six innings.
Ortiz has 12 homers this month, most in the majors. ...
Figgins stole his AL-leading 39th and 40th bases, and Los Angeles
was successful on four attempts overall. ... CF Figgins made 11
catches, one short of the major league record last done by Ken
Griffey Jr., who made 12 while with Seattle on June 12, 1996. ...
Pride, who pinch hit for Vladimir Guerrero in the fifth, hit his
last homer against the Red Sox while with the Yankees on July 6,
2003. ... Guerrero had struck out twice before leaving the game due
to fatigue. ... Beckett has allowed 17 first-inning runs in his 22
starts. ... Anderson has a 20-game hitting streak against the Red