The Sports Xchange

By Matthew Carroll, The Sports Xchange

Ortiz hits 400th homer as Red Sox in win

BOSTON -- David Ortiz had no idea he was approaching yet another milestone as a member of the Boston Red Sox.

It's one he won't soon forget, though.

Ortiz hit a pair of two-run homers, including the 400th home run of his Boston career, and drove in a career-high-tying six runs to single-handedly power the Red Sox to a come-from-behind 10-7 victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday night.

"You don't play the game just to think about personal numbers. You play the game to do it right, and whatever you accomplish, it's a plus," said Ortiz, who also drove in two runs with an eighth-inning double. "You've got to give to the fans what they expect even if there are some times where things don't work out the way you expect. At least they see you trying."

Right fielder Daniel Nava had three hits and two RBIs as the Red Sox won for the fifth time in six games.

But it was Ortiz who led the charge -- pretty much all by himself.

Big Papi belted his first homer off Houston starter Brad Peacock in the third inning, cutting the deficit to 5-3 and becoming the 25th player in major league history to hit 400 with one team and only the third to do so with Boston, joining Hall of Famers Ted Williams (521) and Carl Yastrzemski (452).

"It's an honor to be out there mentioned with those legends, legendary people that did an amazing job as long as they played with the Red Sox," Ortiz marveled. "You come to this organization to play, and you're not expecting your name to be mentioned right next to those guys. But it happens. You do what you got to do, and it's the only way to get there."

Ortiz's second shot of the game off Peacock in the fifth inning, a line drive that curled just inside the right field foul pole for his 28th homer of the season and 459th of his decorated career, ignited the surge as Boston crept within 6-5.

"He's in rare company with those two other guys he's linked to," Boston manager John Farrell said. "Every time when David comes to the plate you think there's an opportunity of a chance that a ball may leave the ballpark."

While he was unaware he was approaching 400, Ortiz fondly remembers his first homer in a Red Sox uniform, against the Angels on April 27, 2003.

"You need to have pride in what you do," he said. "You got to make sure that you go 100 percent out there and you play your best."

The Red Sox tied the score later in the fifth inning when left fielder Yoenis Cespedes reached on an error by first baseman Jon Singleton -- who dropped the high fly ball -- and scored on Nava's single. Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.'s sacrifice fly gave Boston its first lead of the game.

Ortiz then came to the plate in the eighth with the bases loaded and the designated hitter delivered again, eventually exiting for a pinch runner to a standing ovation from the Fenway faithful.

"David Ortiz is a Hall of Famer," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "He's about as good as it gets in this game."

Cespedes added an RBI single to make it 10-6.

Alex Wilson (1-0) tossed 2 1/3 perfect relief innings for the win. Boston closer Koji Uehara gave up a solo homer to Houston catcher Jason Castro in the ninth inning in a non-save situation.

Houston reliever Josh Fields (2-6) retired only two of the five batters he faced in the decisive fifth inning.

Designated hitter Chris Carter hit his 29th home run of the season for the Astros.

Peacock allowed six runs (five earned), seven hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings, striking out three.

Boston starter Rubby De La Rosa lasted just four innings. The right-hander gave up six runs, nine hits and four walks with two strikeouts as his home ERA ballooned from 1.97 to 3.25.

Houston jumped on him from the start, taking a 2-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by center fielder Dexter Fowler and an RBI groundout by Singleton. The Astros made it 3-0 in the second on Carter's sacrifice fly.

After Boston made it a two-run game on Nava's RBI double, Houston stretched the lead to 5-1 in the third on third baseman Gregorio Petit's two-run double.

NOTES: First-round draft picks Dominique Easley of the New England Patriots and Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics threw out the ceremonial first pitches. ... Boston C David Ross is slated to be activated off the disabled list early this week. Ross has been sidelined since Aug. 2 with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. ... Red Sox OF Allen Craig, on the DL with a sprained left foot, will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday. ... Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia was back in the lineup after leaving Friday's game when he fouled a ball off his right foot. ... Houston RHP Collin McHugh (5-9, 3.08 ERA) opposes Boston RHP Joe Kelly (0-0, 2.08) on Sunday in the finale of the three-game series.

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