Hitting for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, David Ortiz delivered his first pinch-hit homer since April 27, 2003 to break a 3-3 tie in the top of the ninth and lead the Red Sox to a 4-3 win over the Tigers in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader.
Ortiz’s previous pinch-hit homer came in his first month with the Red Sox. Hitting for Jeremy Giambi in that one, he gave the Red Sox a lead in the top of the 14th in a game against the Angels, making a winner of Ramiro Mendoza.
It was also Ortiz’s second homer in two career at-bats against Tigers closer Jose Valverde. He hit a grand slam the previous time he faced him.
The Red Sox, who also got homered from Mike Cameron and Dustin Pedroia in the contest, won their fourth straight and will go for a four-game sweep in Detroit when they play the second game of a doubleheader tonight.
Because of course he did.
It wasn’t just his first at bat, but it was his first pitch. It came off of John Kilichowski, an 11th round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals out of Vanderbilt. The ball went out to left center, off the bat of the lefty Tebow.
Next time, meat, throw him a breaking ball.
The other night, Blue Jays reliever Joaquin Benoit needed help getting off the field after the second benches-clearing incident with the Yankees. It was later revealed that Benoit tore a calf muscle during the fracas, ending his season.
Yesterday he pointed the finger at just about everyone else for the incidents like the one that led to his injury. Hitters specifically. From The Star:
“I believe as pitchers we’re entitled to use the whole plate and pitch in if that’s the way we’re going to succeed,” Benoit said. “I believe that right now baseball is taking things so far that in some situations most hitters believe that they can’t be brushed out. Some teams take it personally.”
That “take it personally” line is interesting coming from Benoit as, in this instance, it seemed pretty clear that the whole plunking exchange which led to his injury started because Josh Donaldson took an inside pitch that did not seem to be a purpose pitch at all, too personally.
Did Benoit take a veiled swipe at his teammate here? If so, that’s pretty notable. If not it’s notable in another way, right? As it suggests that Benoit believes it’s OK for his teammates to take issue with inside pitches but anyone else who does is part of the problem?
Which is it, Joaquin?