BOSTON (AP)—David Ortiz hits so many walkoff homers that one teammate even predicts them.
The Boston slugger hit the ninth of his career, a two-run blast to the center-field bleachers that gave the Red Sox a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in 10 innings Saturday.
With a 2-2 count and Alex Cora on first with a single, Ortiz hit his 22nd homer of the season off Tom Gordon (2-3). Teammates poured out of Boston’s dugout, Papelbon swung a white towel at the plate and Ortiz flipped his helmet off as he ran down the third-base line.
It’s a gesture of self-preservation he learned after his teammates pounded his helmet-clad head when he reached home after his first walkoff homer for Boston on Sept. 23, 2003 against Baltimore.
“You want to make sure you got your helmet off. Otherwise, you know you’re going to go crazy with a concussion,” he said.
After he reached home on Saturday, his teammates “were kind of looking at me like a whole bunch of 10 year olds like, `you’re amazing,’ ’ Ortiz said.
Gordon said he left the pitch over the middle of the plate.
“I certainly wanted it down a little more,” he said. “He’s a tough hitter and doesn’t give in.”
Papelbon (2-1) helped the Red Sox extend their winning streak to a season-high eight games. He lowered his ERA to 0.24. In 38 innings, he’s allowed one run and five walks with 39 strikeouts, four on Saturday.
“The confidence that he feels, it just makes you jealous,” said Curt Schilling, who struck out 10 in six innings but failed for the fourth time to win his 10th game.
Brett Myers started and went five innings for Philadelphia, one day after being arrested and charged with hitting his wife in the face. He was freed after his wife posted $200 bail and faces a court date of Aug. 4.
“I’m sorry it had to go public. That’s it. Of course, it’s embarrassing. My teammates have been behind me,” Myers said. “I felt fine. Obviously my pitch count was up.”
Papelbon got the Red Sox out of two big jams and matched his longest outing of the year.
He entered the tie game with two outs and runners at first and second in the eighth and struck out David Dellucci on an 89 mph splitter. In the ninth, he fanned Pat Burrell with the bases loaded and two outs on three pitches—the last a 97 mph fastball that Burrell swung through.
“I wanted to stay ahead of him,” Papelbon said. “You can’t fall behind when you’ve got the bases loaded.”
He pitched a perfect 10th with two strikeouts, sending Philadelphia toward its 12th loss in 15 games.
The Phillies tied the game 3-3 with a run in the seventh. Aaron Rowand led off with a single, breaking a streak of nine batters retired by Schilling. A single by Dellucci and a walk to David Bell loaded the bases with no outs. Jimmy Rollins’ RBI single off Manny Delcarmen tied the game.
Boston cut the lead to 2-1 in the first on a sacrifice fly by Ramirez after singles by Mark Loretta and Ortiz. The Red Sox went ahead 3-2 in the second on a solo homer by Mike Lowell, who matched his output for all last season with his eighth homer, and Loretta’s RBI single.
Fans booed Myers each time he left the dugout to take the mound and several times as he returned to the dugout at the end of innings.
“I’ve just got to block it out,” he said. “You’re in an opposing city. You’re going to get booed either way.”
He finished with five strikeouts and four walks while allowing three runs and seven hits.
“I’m sure he’ll get booed at home,” manager Charlie Manuel said.
Ortiz got cheered at home for his walkoff homer, a dramatic play that fans and teammates are getting used to. He’s done it seven times in the regular season.
“It’s almost expected of him now, which is kind of tough on him because when he doesn’t do it, it’s kind of a downfall to him,” Papelbon said. “He’s clutch, man. He’s money.”
Loretta left the game with a mild neck strain in the seventh and was listed as day-to-day. … Schilling recorded at least 10 strikeouts for the 92nd time in his career and the first this season. … In their last 11 games, the Phillies have allowed 14 earned runs in the first inning. … The Red Sox signed LHP Rusty Tucker and assigned him to Double-A Portland. He began the season with Birmingham in the Chicago White Sox organization. … Lowell’s homer was the 25th of his career against Philadelphia, the most against any team. The New York Mets and Atlanta are tied for second with 13.