This and every weekday a.m. during baseball season, let's rise and shine together to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts at Fenway Pahhhk, where David Ortiz(notes) reached out and touched something he had been missing all season — the bleachers.
Game of the Day
Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 3
Big Papi, is that you?: Ortiz hit his first homer of the season, and his first in 150 at-bats going back to 2008. Since peaking at 54 homers in 2006, Ortiz dropped to 35 in '07, and to 23 a season ago — but this was ridiculous.
Papi Grande was hitting .203 with a .293 slugging percentage with 35 strikeouts in 133 at-bats coming in. He had a decent amount of doubles (10) and he had even tripled once. But nothing that reached the seats since Sept. 22 against Zach Jackson of the Tribe.
"I tried it all. I was about to hit right-handed," the left-handed slugger said. "I feel like I just got that big old monkey off my back and (in) this game, sometimes that's all it takes to have a good at-bat, get a good hit and everything will start clicking."
Papi's papi: Ortiz said he got some encouraging words — or at least non-discouraging words — from his dad, Enrique Ortiz, earlier in the week.
He "told me, 'Hey, son, it's not going to get worse than this so go out there, have fun and forget about what happened," Ortiz recalled.
Dad always knows just what to say.
Bringing unsexy record back: Jacoby Ellsbury(notes) caught 12 fly balls (including THIS one on the right!) to tie a major league record for most putouts in a nine-inning game by an outfielder. Don't yawn! The Elias Sports Bureau reports that Earl Clark of the Boston Braves and Lyman Bostock of the Angels also share the mark. It's not stealing home, but considering there are 27 outs in a regulation game, it's pretty cool.
First place, eh?: The Jays still lead the AL East, but need a victory today to avert a three-game sweep.
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Feelin' Rundown (Big Papi homered in these games, too):
Marlins 8, D-backs 6 (Game 1);
D-backs 11, Marlins 9 (13 inn.): Justin Upton(notes) had one of those games -- two homers, six RBIs, three runs, a stolen base, 4-for-7, including the go-ahead blast in the 13th.
Across the country in Maricopa County, the wife of D-backs left-hander Scott Schoeneweis was found dead by the couple's 14-year-old daughter shortly after noon. Send e-condolences for Gabrielle Dawn Schoeneweis here.
Pirates 2, Nationals 1: Five victories in a row for the Pirates, even though we have to begrudgingly count that three of them came against the Nats. Manny Acta is moving 0-5 Daniel Cabrera(notes) to the bullpen. He will be in good company; the Nats' pen is a collective 1-15.
Reds 5, Phillies 1: Nickname alert: Aaron Harang(notes)-utan. Try it out. ... Jamie Moyer(notes) was better than he had been, but still not all that good. None of us are getting younger, but he's really not getting any younger.
Braves 12, Rockies 4: Rox drop to nine games under .500. Manager Clint Hurdle sounds like a man without a plan: "We'll figure things out tomorrow. We have work to do. We know that. We're embarrassed. We have to pick it up and go. We don't want to dig ourselves in any deeper."
Astros 6, Brewers 4: The Wandy-rer denies the Brewers their fifth straight, and lowers his ERA to 1.83. Somebody might be going to the All-Star Game!
Cardinals 2, Cubs 1: The Cubs threatened in the ninth, but Ryan Franklin's(notes) goatee overwhelmed them. Chris Carpenter(notes) was very good over five innings in his most recent return from the DL. Milton Bradley(notes), who often says nothing, said it best: "It's not like we were facing Joe Blow. He's a pretty good pitcher."
Bradley's right; he's 12-for-14 lifetime against Joe Blow but came in 3-for-10 against Carpenter.
Dodgers 2, Mets 1: They went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, and it's been seven games since the Mets hit a home run. A three-game sweep for the Dodgers, which would have made Harvey Keitel's character in the "Bad Lieutenant" really unhappy.
Yankees 11, Orioles 4: Eight victories in a row for the Yankees and they seem to be having a great time doing it. "It's been a great run for us," Nick Swisher(notes) said. "I think having fun creates winning."
I submit that the reverse is true, but let's not pick nits.
Even if the Orioles can't avert a sweep today, it's OK. Baltimore will always have Babe Ruth's outhouse.
Indians 6, Royals 5: Kerry Wood(notes) simply wanted to make it look hard, and he succeeded by walking the bases loaded, but Mark Teahen(notes) and David DeJesus(notes) struck out and the Indians had a real, live victory.
White Sox 7, Twins 4: The Twinkies can't win in Chicago; they've dropped 10 of 11 there and the Sox have a 20-game streak with at least one homer. It must be Ho-Ho town.
Mariners 1, Angels 0: Chris Jakubauskas(notes) didn't want to be left alone with Don Wakamatsu in the manager's office after the M's boss ripped into King Felix for a poor effort the night before. So, he kept the Angels off the scoreboard for six innings.