Three to go.
At least that’s what David Ortiz must be saying to himself after another home run in the Red Sox’s 6-2 win against the Phillies. He already had 30 home runs for the season – his ninth straight season with the Red Sox to do so – when he knocked out a run off in his first at-bat. It was his 200th home run at Fenway Park (he is now fourth in Red Sox history for home runs at Fenway Park, passing Dwight Evans today), and with that he became closer to being the 27th person to hit 500 home runs in their career.
Of course, he wouldn’t be the first Red Sox player to reach that lofty number. Every Red Sox fan worth their salt will happily recite Ted Williams’ 521 homers, including the one he hit in his very last at-bat. Manny Ramirez and Jimmie Foxx are the other two members of those who played for the Red Sox (555 and 534, for those keeping count). But Ortiz is one of the ones responsible for three much coveted World Series victories for the Red Sox and has a special place in fan’s hearts for that. He left in the fifth inning because of hamstring tightness and is currently day-to-day.
The Red Sox sweep of the Phillies isn’t much to brag about in the scheme of the MLB standings; they are the ones at the bottom of the entire MLB, NL or AL. The Red Sox aren’t going to be in the playoff race, either, but that didn’t seem to make a difference to the loyal fans at Fenway.
While Ortiz’s homer made the most news, there was a lot to be happy about in the series Red Sox player-wise. Eduardo Rodriguez pitched seven innings, giving up one earned run and eight hits. Jackie Bradley tripled in the second inning; he’s hit four triples for the Red Sox since August 1. Only Travis Shaw and Josh Rutledge were without hits on the Sox lineup; Rutledge did walk and drive in a run despite that.
Ortiz has got the next three game series against the AL East leaders the Toronto Blue Jays to try to hit three more before the Red Sox head on a nine game road trip. (The Sox will close the season with a seven game stand at Fenway, but Ortiz will likely hit number 500 before the Red Sox are back at home.) Will he manage to hit that magic number 500 in those games? Red Sox fans certainly hope so.
[Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images]