Big Papi Ties Mickey Mantle in Career Home Runs as the Red Hot Sox Keep Rolling
BOSTON — (AP) David Ortiz tied Mickey Mantle on baseball’s career home run list. David Price is in the longest winning streak of his career.
And the Boston Red Sox keep piling up victories.
Ortiz hit his 536th career home run on Monday night to tie Mantle for 17th all-time, and the Red Sox maintained a two-game lead in the AL East on Monday night with a 12-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Price allowed just a pair of solo homers for his seventh consecutive victory.
"We’re clicking in a number of ways, and at this time of year it’s happening at the right time," manager John Farrell said when asked if the team was playing the best it has all year. "It’s hard to argue that we aren’t."
Chris Young homered, doubled twice and singled, and Hanley Ramirez also homered for the Red Sox, who held onto a two-game lead over Toronto. The top-scoring team in the majors, Boston scored in each of the first seven innings before going down in order in the eighth, reaching 11 runs for the fifth time in 10 games.
"We all have that feeling in the clubhouse, out in the dugout," Price said. "That’s what you want to be a part of. It’s not work; this is all fun."
Price (16-8) allowed two runs on two hits and zero walks, striking out nine in eight innings for his seventh win in as many starts. It’s the longest winning streak in his career for the left-hander, who signed a seven-year, $217 million free agent contract over the offseason.
"A guy like David is pitching as well as anybody in baseball is right now," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "That’s why he can command those type of commitments they made to him. That’s a great example of how important those guys are."
Former Red Sox starter Wade Miley (8-13) got just four outs, allowing five runs in the first inning before loading the bases in the second.
Ramirez hit his eighth homer in his last 15 games.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
With two on and nobody out in the first, Ortiz lined one to the warning track in left-center that went in and out of Left fielder Steve Pearce’s glove as he tried to avoid crashing into the Green Monster. Xander Bogaerts had already begun retreating to first before Ortiz, rounding the bag, signaled for him to run in the other direction.
The Orioles asked for a replay review, claiming Pearce had possession of the ball before dropping it, but the original call was upheld and Ortiz had a single. Mookie Betts then hit a liner that stymied Pearce and went over his head for a double.
When Ramirez followed with a single to left, Pearce was nonchalant in getting the ball back in; Betts, having stopped at third, scored to make it 4-0 before Miley had recorded an out.
"Steve’s a good defender," Showalter said. "It’s a tough place to play."
Ortiz hit his 33rd homer, a solo shot in the sixth inning off Oliver Drake, into the Baltimore bullpen. The crowd continued to cheer for him until he came back out of the dugout and tipped his cap.
It’s Ortiz’s 10th season of 30 or more homers in 14 seasons with the Red Sox. Next up on the all-time list is Mike Schmidt, with 548.
Orioles: RHP Darren O’Day is scheduled to pitch in a simulated game on Tuesday. He has been on the DL since Aug. 12 with a right shoulder rotator cuff strain.
Red Sox: Knuckleballer Steven Wright hasn’t resumed throwing yet. Manager John Farrell said he is getting better from a right shoulder strain but it will be challenging to get him ready with just a few weeks left in the season.
Red Sox: Lefty Drew Pomeranz will start for Boston.