Ortiz had his second multihomer game this month and drove in four runs, lifting the Boston Red Sox to a 7-2 win over Detroit.
His first went an estimated 450 feet to right-center, clearing the brick wall that is beyond the right-field fence and landing on a standing-room-only concourse. It rivaled the Comerica Park-record blast of 461 feet off Carlos Pena’s(notes) bat in 2005.
Ortiz’s second homer was a majestic, 394-foot rainbow that cleared a tunnel past the right-field wall off an inside pitch off the plate.
The 34-year-old Ortiz didn’t hit a homer in his first 11 games, slumping to a .146 batting average, and cleared the fence only once in 16 games.
Since then, he has five homers and his batting average is higher than .200 for the first time this season thanks to a five-game hitting streak in which he has nine hits.
“There are a lot of people out there who think they know a lot about baseball who seem to think the season ends in April,” Ortiz said. “It doesn’t. It ends in October.”
Ortiz hit more than one homer for the 34th time with the Red Sox—trailing Ted Williams (37) and Jim Rice (35) in the team’s record books for multihomer games—after doing it twice with the Minnesota Twins.
“The impressive thing was that he didn’t muscle up for those swings,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “We’ve all seen him take those huge swings, but those two were all about generating bat speed with a quiet body. That’s how he got backspin and that’s why those balls went a long way.”
Pedroia’s two-run homer in the first gave Buchholz all the support he needed before Ortiz roughed up Scherzer later in the inning and again in the third.
“It makes it a lot easier to concentrate on throwing strikes,” Buchholz said. “I know that didn’t happen for the first couple innings, but I knew I had a cushion to work with, and I finally got things going.”
Scherzer, who gave up three homers for the third time in his three-year career, has allowed 27 runs in his last four starts after allowing seven earned runs in his first four with the Tigers.
“His slider has not been good and his fastball has been in the middle of the plate,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
Buchholz bounced back from two shaky starts in which he gave up 10 runs, but did give up five walks for the second straight outing.
“He was effectively wild,” Leyland said.
“After a tough series like we just played (against the Yankees) to get down 5-nothing right off the bat, I think it took a little wind out of our sails,” Leyland said. “I understand that. I don’t mean we quit trying.”
NOTES: Francona hopes to have Josh Beckett(notes) (sore back) and Mike Cameron(notes) (abdominal strain) healthy enough to play in the next series on the road against the Yankees. … Detroit called up OF Casper Wells, optioned RHP Alfred Figaro to Triple-A Toledo and plan to send Wells back to the minors Sunday to clear a roster spot for RHP Armando Galarraga(notes) to start in the series finale. Wells is expected to play Saturday night to rest Johnny Damon(notes). … Boston pinch-hitter Bill Hall(notes) hit a solo homer in the ninth off Fu-Te Ni(notes) to make it 7-2. … Comerica Park opened in 2000.