Ortiz scores go-ahead run with Garnett cheering him on in Red Sox’s 5-4 victory
BOSTON (AP)—David Ortiz showed Kevin Garnett who’s still Boston’s big star from Minnesota.
“Big Papi” slammed an RBI double and scored the go-ahead run in a four-run seventh inning, drawing a huge grin and a standing ovation from “The Big Ticket” seated in a box high behind home plate Wednesday night.
“That’s my man, dog,” Ortiz said after the Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 Wednesday night. “He loves watching this game. I remember my days in Minnesota. He always came to the field to give us support.”
Garnett, traded to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, threw the ceremonial first pitch to Ortiz—more like an arcing jumper than a bullet pass—after threatening to throw a fastball.
“He came to me and he’s like, ‘Hey, be careful, because your homeboy’s coming in with some gas,”’ Ortiz said with a big smile.
The Celtics obtained Garnett in a 7-for-1 deal with Minnesota. Ortiz began his major league career with the Twins in 1997, two years after Garnett skipped college to play for the Timberwolves, where he made 10 All-Star teams in 12 seasons.
Kevin Youkilis gave the Red Sox a 4-3 lead with a two-run double in the seventh, scoring Dustin Pedroia and Ortiz, who had doubled off the Green Monster in left field. After racing across home plate, Ortiz pumped his fist and pointed at Garnett, the rebounding monster who will wear Celtics green.
The 6-foot-11 forward—wearing a blue Boston cap and white Red Sox jersey with his last name and number “5” on the back—jumped out of his seat, clapping, smiling and pointing back at Ortiz.
“Guys get emotional,” Pedroia said. “I didn’t know what (Ortiz) was doing. It’s prime time. He’s doing his thing.”
Jason Varitek added an RBI single for a 5-3 lead and Garnett was out of his seat again, smiling and swaying.
“Basketball’s going to go to another level in this town,” Ortiz said. “We’re going to have fun this season.”
The Red Sox already are, having spent 109 straight days in first place.
Javier Lopez (2-1) got the win and Jonathan Papelbon struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 24th save in 26 chances after Hideki Okajima allowed Miguel Tejada’s eighth homer of the season in the eighth.
Shuey left after walking Julio Lugo and allowing Pedroia’s third single of the game.
“I feel like a real jerk for spoiling a good outing by Trachsel,” Shuey said.
Parrish came in and Ortiz doubled in Lugo. Manny Ramirez was intentionally walked, loading the bases. Chad Bradford replaced Parrish and gave up a double to right-center by Youkilis, who was 13-for-69 before that at bat.
“It was great just to get that hit,” he said. “It’s been frustrating lately (hitting) a lot of balls at people. So I was excited a ball got down for once because I was ready to go nuts.”
Julian Tavarez started for Boston in place of Kason Gabbard, who was traded to Texas on Tuesday for reliever Eric Gagne, and retired the first two batters in each of the first four innings before allowing runners.
Boston cut the lead to 3-1 in the third on Pedroia’s sacrifice fly that scored Coco Crisp, who walked.
Two walks in the seventh by Baltimore relievers were costly.
“We walked the leadoff guy. That set the table for them,” Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said.
The Red Sox already had the best bullpen in baseball before acquiring Gagne, and their relievers allowed one run in four innings.
“If you can play five good innings,” said Gagne, who warmed up in the ninth, “and you go bullpen against bullpen, usually you come out on top with the best bullpen.”
With Ortiz on second while Bradford was warming up in the seventh, he smiled and joked with Orioles infielders Roberts, Tejada and Kevin Millar, who congregated around him. … Tavarez is 0-4 with a 7.31 ERA in his last six starts. He made three relief appearances after being sent to the bullpen on July 22. … Trachsel is 0-3 in his last seven starts. He had a 9.22 RA in his previous six but didn’t allow and earned run Wednesday.