David Ortiz had been hitting ropes all of Sunday night, he said, with nothing to show. Given another chance with the Boston Red Sox down a run in the ninth, Ortiz didn't miss against Joba Chamberlain, going deep over the fence in right at Comerica Park for a go-ahead, three-run home run to key a 5-3 victory against the Detroit Tigers.
The Red Sox as a group had been 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position before Ortiz's home run.
''I think I broke my own record for hitting hard balls right at people,'' Ortiz said. ''After you put a good swing on the ball, the next hope is the ball travels where nobody's at.''
Boston snapped a five-game losing streak and Detroit lost another game in the ninth inning — no matter that Chamberlain had replaced troubled closer Joe Nathan. ESPN notes that the Tigers have allowed 46 runs in 51 1/3 innings in the ninth inning this season.
The Tigers also lost slugger Miguel Cabrera in the sixth because of tightness in his left hamstring.
The Red Sox also were encouraged by the return of Mike Napoli, who had three hits including a home run in his first game back from a recurring finger injury. Boston's record stands at 28-34, nine games behind the first-place Blue Jays in the AL East.
''There's nothing I can complain about,'' he said.
The Giants beat the New York Mets 6-4 at AT&T Park for their 14th win in 17 games. Gregor Blanco had two hits and drove in three runs, and Tim Lincecum allowed three runs and struck out six over six innings. The Giants, seemingly on a bigger roll than anything like what happened in 2010 and 2012 when they won the World Series, lead the Dodgers (who also won on Sunday) by 9 1/2 games in the NL West.
''We're going to ride it out, ride the wave,'' said Lincecum, who allowed two home runs to Curtis Granderson. ''It's fun to be a part of.''
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FLU-RIDDEN C.J. WILSON HELPS ANGELS SWEEP WHITE SOX:
Ahead of a big series against the front runners in the AL West, the Los Angeles Angels took care of business against the Chicago White Sox. Shaking off a bout with the flu, left-hander C.J. Wilson took a three-hit shutout into the eighth inning, and got hitting support from Josh Hamilton, who drove in three in a 4-2 victory. The Angels swept Chicago.
Wilson was lifted after 107 pitches and didn't even argue with manager Mike Scioscia, as he usually might when the skipper comes to get him. Wilson looked like death (just check out the photo above) but he allowed a run and three hits and two walks, striking out six. Very Michael Jordan-y of him, considering the flu.
''I don't even remember what happened five days ago. I've just been in a stupor,'' Wilson said ''I've been sick with the flu the last couple of days, so I didn't really have much in the tank. That was pretty much all I had. I wish could say that I could have gone nine today, or throw 130 pitches, but it just wasn't in the cards.''
YO, NICE EFFORT, YO:
Yovani Gallardo didn't need much help, allowing four hits and striking out eight over seven innings in a 1-0 victory for the Milwaukee Brewers. He out-dueled Jeff Locke of the Pittsburgh Pirates, whose stat line was nearly as good. The biggest difference: Jonathan Lucroy scored on an RBI ground out by Aramis Ramirez, weakly hit, in the seventh. It's not sexy, but it counts just the same as a towering home run.
Worse than a loss to the Brewers, which sets the Bucs eight games back in the NL Central, was the news that right-hander Gerrit Cole was placed on the DL because of a sore shoulder. Well, it's better than a sore elbow — unless it isn't.
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