"They're special to watch," Kevin Millar said Tuesday night
after the sluggers both hit two 400-foot homers to help Curt
Schilling and the defending world champions to a 15-2 victory over
the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Ortiz hit his AL-leading 45th and 46th homers and drove in four
runs. Ramirez had three RBI and joined Ortiz, Trot Nixon and Jason
Varitek with four hits for the Red Sox, who remained one-half game
in front of the New York Yankees, who beat Baltimore 12-9.
Nixon homered and drove in three runs, and Varitek contributed
two RBI as Boston rebounded from Monday night's 8-7 loss to the
last-place Devil Rays, a setback that left the Red Sox clinging to
their thinnest lead in the division in two months.
"The standings don't mean anything right now," Millar said.
"You fight until the end and see where the chips lay."
Boston finished with 21 hits and tied an AL record with four
players with four apiece. The Red Sox are the first team to
accomplish the feat since Minnesota did it against Cleveland on
June 24, 2002.
Ortiz hit two-run homers off Seth McClung (6-11) in the first
and third innings, giving him home runs in three straight at-bats
over two games and his second consecutive four-RBI game against the
Ortiz's first home run traveled an estimated 402 feet to right
field. The second was an even more majestic 451-foot shot to
"On the second ball, [John] Olerud had the best line: 'They
need to put out a public address and tell the children to be
careful.' It was a gorgeous swing from a very strong man," Red Sox
manager Terry Francona said.
"He's one of the best hitters in the game, if not the best. The
timing of some of his hits has made him extraordinary. ... When we
need him to be that good, he's answered almost every time. It's fun
Ortiz boosted his major league-leading RBI total to 140 and is
batting .447 with eight homers, 18 RBI and 13 runs scored during a
10-game hitting streak. His 46 homers are a club season record for
a left-handed batter and tie Jim Rice for the second-most hit by a
Red Sox in one year.
Ramirez followed Ortiz's first-inning shot with his 37th homer
which traveled 433 feet. Nixon's two-run blast off McClung finished
a four-run third. McClung allowed seven runs and seven hits in
"Those guys are pretty good. ... It's a tough lineup to pitch
to," McClung said, searching for words. "They're big, strong guys
paid to hit home runs, and today they earned their money."
Schilling (7-8) allowed two runs and six hits, struck out seven
and walked one in seven innings to improve to 2-3 in six starts
since returning to the rotation on Aug. 25. The six-time All-Star
gave up a solo homer to Jorge Cantu in the first and watched the
speedy Carl Crawford score from second base on Cantu's sacrifice
fly to deep center in the third.
Ortiz singled in the fourth and fifth, giving him hits in six
consecutive at-bats. He grounded out in the sixth to snap the
The slugger scored on Nixon's RBI single in the fourth and again
in the fifth when Ramirez hit a 418-foot shot off Joe Beimel for
his third multihomer game of the season and 42nd of his career.
Ortiz has nine multihomer games, one shy of the Red Sox record
set by Jimmie Foxx in 1938. He has 10 homers in 18 games against
Tampa Bay this season, while Ramirez has homered seven times
against the Devil Rays.
The Red Sox last had four players with four hits on June 8,
1950, against the St. Louis Browns. ... Ortiz has 27 homers on the
road, a Red Sox record. Ted Williams had 26 in 1957. ... Cantu's
two RBI gave him a Devil Rays' season record 109. Aubrey Huff
drove in 107 in 2003. ... McClung has allowed seven homers in 9 1/3
innings over his last three starts, all losses. Ortiz has three
homers in five at-bats against the right-hander this season.