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Big Papi blasts eighth career game-ending homer in BoSox win

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- No matter how dire the situation appears for the Red Sox, there's always Big Papi.

David Ortiz did it again Monday night, hitting a game-ending, three-run homer in the ninth inning to give Boston a 9-8 win over the Cleveland Indians that kept the Red Sox in sole possession of first place in the AL East.

"The whole inning we're just thinking, let's just get David to the plate," manager Terry Francona said.

Ortiz, who also hit a solo homer in the third, got his second game-ending hit in three days and fifth of the year. It was his 12th in four seasons with Boston, most in the majors during that span. He leads the big leagues with 37 home runs and 105 RBI, and he tied a club record with 14 homers in a month.

"You've got to do what you've got to do," Ortiz said. "Like I said before, the worst thing that can happen is the pitcher getting you out."

Until his one-out drive to center field, the day hadn't been going well for the Red Sox.

They didn't make a trade before the 4 p.m. ET deadline for non-waiver deals. They also placed right fielder Trot Nixon on the disabled list, lost catcher Jason Varitek to a knee injury and watched David Wells allow eight runs in 4 2/3 innings in his first start in two months since hurting his right knee.

"Nights like this can mean a lot to a team," Francona said.

Boston took a one-game lead over the idle New York Yankees with help from homers by Manny Ramirez and Wily Mo Pena.

The winning homer followed a single by Alex Cora, a walk to Kevin Youkilis and a popout by Mark Loretta. It came on a 2-0 count against Fausto Carmona (1-5) and helped the Red Sox overcome two homers and five RBI by Casey Blake.

"The guy had to make a pitch at the time or get the bases loaded and having a hitter like Manny" coming up, Ortiz said. "I just go out there with the same approach that I always go. See a pitch and hit it."

It was Ortiz's eighth career game-ending homer, seventh with the Red Sox and third this year. And that's just in the regular season -- he also has two game-ending homers in the postseason.

Carmona was in the game because the Indians traded closer Bob Wickman to Atlanta on July 20.

"He's a strong-minded kid and he's going to figure it out," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "Obviously, that is a very special hitter that came up there."

Kyle Snyder (3-2) got the win with 4 1/3 innings of one-hit relief after replacing Wells.

"I've never pitched in a game that's made me feel this way," said Snyder, who had been scheduled to start Tuesday night. "All I was trying to do was give us an opportunity to come back and win this game at the tail end and I'll be darned if David Ortiz didn't step up to the plate and do it again."

Blake hit a leadoff homer in the second, a sacrifice fly in the third and a three-run homer in the fifth that put Cleveland ahead 8-6. Blake has 14 homers and three two-homer games this season.

He was in right field when Ortiz ended the game.

"You're thinking, he can't do it again," Blake said. "The guy's unbelievable."

Varitek departed with a twisted left knee in the third after running to second base the previous inning. Francona replaced him with Doug Mirabelli.

"Tek fought me on it a little bit," said Francona, who gave no indication about how much time Varitek might miss. "I'm just trying to be cautious."

Boston scored in each of the first four innings against starter Paul Byrd.

The Red Sox went up 2-0 in the first on Loretta's single and Ramirez's 29th homer. Cleveland went ahead 3-2 in the second on Blake's homer and a two-run double by Kelly Shoppach.

The Red Sox came back with two runs in the second on a two-run triple by Pena, who was a double short of the cycle.

The Indians jumped ahead 5-4 with two runs in the third on a single by Jason Michaels, an RBI double by Travis Hafner and Blake's sacrifice fly.

Boston went back on top when Ortiz, in the fourth, and Pena, in the fifth, slammed the first pitch of each inning for solo homers.

Then Ortiz finished the game off with his specialty.

"I said, `He's not going to do it again,"' Pena said, "and he did it."

Notes

  • Varitek made his 1,000th appearance as a catcher, ranking him 106th on the career list. Carlton Fisk, who played with Boston and the Chicago White Sox, is the career leader with 2,226.
  • Byrd struggled for his second straight start.
  • Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 16 games, his longest in six years with Boston, and broke a tie for 27th place with Jim Thome with his 464th homer.
  • The Indians are 0-7 against Wells since their last win against him on Oct. 1, 2000.
  • RHP Jason Johnson will be recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to start in place of Snyder on Tuesday night.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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David Ortiz, who connects on his fifth walk-off hit of the year, is used to this post-game treatment.  (AP)
David Ortiz, who connects on his fifth walk-off hit of the year, is used to this post-game treatment. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

D. Ortiz
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 2
RBI 4
Cleveland

C. Blake
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 5
 
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF5010011 .301
Jason Michaels, LF5220011 .275
Travis Hafner, DH4111001 .296
Victor Martinez, 1B3100111 .306
Casey Blake, RF3225000 .301
Jhonny Peralta, SS3110120 .259
Hector Luna, 2B4110001 .291
Kelly Shoppach, C4012020 .241
Andy Marte, 3B4000021 .000
Totals35898296 
Batting
2B - Travis Hafner (22, Wells), Hector Luna (15, Wells), Kelly Shoppach (3, Wells)
HR - Casey Blake 2 (14, Wells, Wells)
SF - Casey Blake (2)
RBI - Travis Hafner (86), Casey Blake 5 (47), Kelly Shoppach 2 (9)
2-OUT RBI - Casey Blake 3 (24)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Grady Sizemore 1
Cleveland Indians
Paul Byrd 4966023 5.00
Jason Davis 2.2200140 4.82
Rafael Betancourt (H,4) 1.1000020 3.97
Fausto Carmona (BS,1; L,1-5) 0.1233101 4.82
WP - Jason Davis (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Byrd 72-53, Jason Davis 42-33, Rafael Betancourt 16-11, Fausto Carmona 15-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Byrd 1-8, Jason Davis 3-1
Batters Faced - Paul Byrd 20, Jason Davis 11, Rafael Betancourt 4, Fausto Carmona 4
Boston Red Sox
Kevin Youkilis, 1B4100121 .293
Mark Loretta, 2B5110013 .302
David Ortiz, DH5234011 .289
Manny Ramirez, LF3112100 .315
Mike Lowell, 3B4000002 .290
Jason Varitek, C1110000 .243
   a- Doug Mirabelli, PH-C3010020 .186
Coco Crisp, CF4120001 .269
Wily Mo Pena, RF4133010 .333
Alex Cora, SS4110012 .293
Totals3791392810 
a-doubled for Varitek in the 3rd
Batting
2B - David Ortiz (20, Davis), Doug Mirabelli (5, Byrd)
3B - Wily Mo Pena (1, Byrd)
HR - David Ortiz 2 (37, Byrd, Carmona), Manny Ramirez (29, Byrd), Wily Mo Pena (5, Byrd)
RBI - David Ortiz 4 (105), Manny Ramirez 2 (84), Wily Mo Pena 3 (24)
2-OUT RBI - Manny Ramirez 2 (31)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Alex Cora (4, )
Boston Red Sox
David Wells 4.2888232 11.08
Kyle Snyder (W,3-2) 4.1100060 6.00
Pitches-Strikes - David Wells 96-60, Kyle Snyder 57-38
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Wells 8-3, Kyle Snyder 2-5
Batters Faced - David Wells 24, Kyle Snyder 14
Game Information
Attendance - 36387
Game Time - 3:15
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - John Hirschbeck, Second Base - Wally Bell, Third Base - Mark Carlson