Ortiz had a few laughs and enjoyed how many Red Sox fans showed up to salute him on a night that was bizarrely positive for Boston even as NY completed a three-game sweep with a 5-1 verdict.
NOTES: A banner reading “Thank You 34” was placed above the intersection of Yawkey Way and Van Ness Street outside of Fenway Park ahead of DH David Ortiz’s final regular-season games.
The Jays had taken a two-run lead on the Sox with a three-run rally in the top of the fifth inning capped off by Jose Bautista’s two-run homer, but Boston tied it against reliever Joe Biagini in the seventh. Deven Marrero got the start at second over Dustin Pedroia. “It was the last game of spring training against Tampa, and obviously knowing who he was and watching him growing up, I was a little intimidated at first”.
In the fifth, with a runner on second, he hit a hard liner that right fielder Jose Bautista was able to chase down before it went over his head.
Mookie Betts echoed Bradley’s sentiment, saying Ortiz always “makes everybody feel like they know him personally”, even if they don’t.
The end wasn’t easy as Kimbrel, who failed to close Wednesday night’s game in NY, walked two before striking out pinch hitter Dioner Navarro out on three pitches to end Friday’s contest.
Though 78 home games had been played already at Fenway, Friday night began a weekend-long celebration to say good-bye. In fact, moments like tonight’s game-winning home run are nearly expected from Ortiz and seemingly come as second nature. “(He) turned this place upside down”.
It was the following season that Ortiz became the “Big Papi” who carried the team to its greatest success. “It’s a very intense series when we play the Yankees”. Ortiz received a warm ovation from Yankees fans as he was introduced in a pregame ceremony to honor the last game of his career at Yankee Stadium.
Ortiz is now just two home runs away from hitting 40 home runs at the age of 40.
With numerous Red Sox fans rising in anticipation of the win, Teixeira drove an 0-1 pitch over the center field fence for his 15th home run of the season.
And on Wednesday night, the Red Sox clinched their third AL East title since 1995.
“We play to win”, he said.
Major League Baseball overall is having a bullish week with 13 of 30 teams still in post-season contention going into the final weekend of a marathon 162-game, six-month-long regular schedule. He was lifted for pinch runner Brock Holt after drawing a walk in the fourth and exited to mild applause, mostly from the Red Sox fans in the crowd.
The pages of the book are filled with hand-written letters from past and present Yankees to Ortiz.
The home run was Ortiz’s 38th of the season and his 16th go-ahead homer of the year.
It was the turning point in a game delayed 25 minutes by rain, with it continuing to drizzle steadily throughout the night.
Asked to pick his best moment in the ballpark, Ortiz smiled. “And I think that really meant a lot to us”.
“I was just like, ‘Wow, ‘” Betts said. “I am proud that we can recognize his efforts and wish him well as he ends his career with what we hope is another memorable playoff run”. Still, he will have one more opportunity to add to his distinguished post-season resume as well.
Indians 7, Royals 2: Ryan Merritt retired his final 13 batters while pitching five strong innings in his first big league start and Francisco Lindor hit a three-run homer for Cleveland.
The Red Sox then swept the St. Louis Cardinals for their first World Series title in 86 years.
“We needed it. We need every game”, Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada said.
“They forgot about just about everything I have done here”. Even after an 0-for-10 slump in NY, I don’t think anyone doubted that Papi would come through in his final regular season series.