Ortiz and the Red Sox hope to open some breathing room in the AL East as they play the Oakland Athletics in the middle game of their series at Fenway Park.
Ortiz is making a strong case for AL MVP honors with a .297 batting average, 43 home runs and a major-league leading 131 RBIs for the first-place Red Sox. Boston has not had an MVP winner since Mo Vaughn beat out Cleveland’s Albert Belle in 1995.
Boston has a 1 1/2 -game lead over the surging New York Yankees in the East, and Ortiz is doing everything in his power to keep them on top. He has five home runs and nine RBIs over the last five games, and 12 home runs since Aug. 27.
Ortiz hit the game-tying homer in the sixth inning, and Manny Ramirez was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the 10th Friday, giving the Red Sox a 3-2 win over the Athletics.
Oakland’s loss dropped it one game behind the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West.
Danny Haren will take the ball for the A’s on Saturday.
The right-handed Haren has won three straight decisions and has a 2.82 ERA over his last four starts. Haren, who turns 25 on Saturday, was beaten 13-5 by Boston in his only career start against them on May 9. He gave up six runs— one earned—and five hits in 3 2-3 innings.