Ortiz sets home run record to help Red Sox sink Twins

September 22nd, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Ortiz sets home run record to help Red Sox sink Twins


BOSTON (Reuters) - Slugger David Ortiz blasted two home runs to set a new Boston Red Sox record in his team's 6-0 home victory over Minnesota on Thursday, a win that prevented the Twins from taking top spot in the American League Central.
A day after an 8-2 loss to the Twins helped the New York Yankees clinch a ninth consecutive AL East title, the Red Sox gave the Detroit Tigers' post-season hopes a boost.
While the Red Sox were beating the Twins, the Tigers were being edged 4-3 by the Baltimore Orioles, to leave Detroit clinging to a half-game lead top the Central.
The night, however, belonged to Ortiz.
Known as "Big Papi" to his swelling base of fans, Ortiz blasted his way into the Red Sox history books surpassing Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx's mark of 50 home runs set in 1938.
"Great feeling, especially doing it here at home in front of my fans," Ortiz told MLB.com. "I think the whole (Red Sox) Nation really enjoys it when you get something like that done at home.
"It's pretty fun. People were just going crazy out there."
Ortiz made the historic hit off Minnesota Twins left-hander Johan Santana in the first inning, receiving a thunderous ovation from the Fenway faithful as he rounded the bases, tipping his helmet to the crowd after reaching home base.
In the seventh inning, Ortiz connected on his second homer of the night, a solo shot to deep center helping the Red Sox to a comfortable win.
Only 10 players in American League history have hit 52 home runs in a single season.
New York Yankees great Mickey Mantle also hit a 51st home run at Boston's Fenway Park.
Lost in the Ortiz fireworks was a brilliant pitching performance Josh Beckett (16-10), who scattering six hits over eight shutout inning while striking out five without a walk to claim his career high 16th victory.
"It's nice," Beckett said. "It's always a goal coming into the season to do better than you did last year."
Keith Foulke came on in the ninth to record the final three outs to complete the shutout.
In Baltimore, Melvin Mora stroked a two-run double in the eighth inning to lift the Orioles past the Tigers in a make-up game for a May 11 rainout.
After a first inning two-run homer from Magglio Ordonez and a third inning solo shot by Curtis Granderson had given Detroit a 3-0 lead, the Tigers had looked poised to extend their slim lead.
But the Orioles hit back with a pair of runs in the fourth and a game winning two-run double from Mora to deny the Tigers a badly needed win.
Kris Benson (11-11) took credit for the win, giving up three runs on three hits in eight effective innings of work.
Chris Ray tossed a spotless ninth to earn his 33rd save.

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