BOSTON (AP) -- Big Papi has his home run swing going for the Red Sox, while Manny Ramirez's chase for 500 is still on hold.
David Ortiz homered twice and drove in four runs, helping Boston beat the Milwaukee Brewers 11-7 on Sunday and complete a sweep of their interleague series despite a subpar outing by ace Josh Beckett.
Since 1951, the first season
in which both leagues counted caught stealing as an official stat, only
two players besides Jacoby Ellsbury started their career by stealing at least 25 bases before
being caught for the first time:
Steals to start
"Today was the best I think he swung the bat," Boston manager Terry Francona said of Ortiz. "He had balance, some aggression without trying to generate it. That was as good as I've seen."Kevin Youkilis added a two-run homer and Dustin Pedroia also went deep for Boston, hitting a solo shot ahead of Ortiz's first of the game.Eight homers in the game, and Ramirez didn't have one of them.The player many in Fenway Park hoped to see hit a home run went 1-for-5 with a single and remains two shy of becoming the 24th player in major league history to reach the 500-home run milestone. He has just two homers in his last 24 games.
Junior Circuit Rules
The American League won this round of interleague play. The NL gets its chance again on June 13. Here are the stats from this weekend.
Ortiz, though, hit his third in three games after a three-run shot in the opener of a day-night doubleheader Saturday."That's what he does when he's going good," Pedroia said. "Everything looks easy."Ryan Braun hit his 12th and 13th homers, J.J. Hardy had a two-run shot and Prince Fielder also homered for the Brewers, who lost their fifth straight."We did a nice job of swinging the bats against Beckett, one of the best pitchers in the American League," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "We just didn't pitch well today."Boston improved to 31-8 since 2006 in interleague games, 18-3 at Fenway.Beckett (5-3) pitched seven innings, allowing six runs -- all on homers -- and six hits, while striking out nine and walking one."Guys swung the bats well today," Beckett said. "I just try to focus on positive things."Trailing 4-3, the Red Sox scored three in the fourth, two in the fifth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh.In the fourth, Fielder -- the only infielder who didn't have one of Milwaukee's four errors Saturday night -- dropped a throw that allowed Mike Lowell to reach. Milwaukee starter Carlos Villanueva (2-5) then loaded the bases on Youkilis' single and Jason Varitek's walk before walking Julio Lugo to force in the tying run. Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a two-run single, making it 6-4.Villanueva gave up six runs -- five earned -- in four innings."I felt fine. I felt like I had command of all of my pitches," he said. "It's just hard to explain."Mark DiFelice, making his major league debut, gave up a double to Pedroia in the fifth, and Ortiz followed by homering into the Brewers' bullpen to make it 8-4.Braun's second of the game and Fielder's sixth of the season -- the first time Milwaukee's had consecutive homers this season -- cut it to 8-6 in the sixth. Pedroia had a sixth-inning RBI single, and Youkilis homered in the seventh.Braun's first homer gave Milwaukee a 2-0 lead in the first. After that, Beckett struck out the next four batters and breezed through the second and third innings until Hardy's two-run shot moved Milwaukee back in front 4-3 in the fourth.Ortiz's RBI double sliced the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the first, and Boston jumped ahead 3-2 in the third when Ortiz and Pedroia hit back-to-back homers.Milwaukee regained the lead on Hardy's homer.Ellsbury was caught stealing in the fourth, the first time for the rookie after a club-record 25 successful attempts.
DiFelice, 31, became the third-oldest player in team history to make his debut. ... It was Ortiz's 31st career multihomer game, 29th with the Red Sox, third most behind Ted Williams and Jim Rice. ... Boston manager Terry Francona said before the game that the team expects to recall RHP Justin Masterson to start Tuesday, and RHP Bartolo Colon would make his Red Sox debut on Wednesday. Colon, signed as a free agent in February, has been rehabbing a strained oblique. ... Francona didn't use LHP Hideki Okajima, who has been bothered by a sore wrist, for the second straight day. ... Red Sox OF Brandon Moss, who had an emergency appendectomy on May 3, will play in Florida on Monday and then go to Triple-A Pawtucket later this week.