A sizzling Ortiz (5 for 8) stinging in the rain
Showing no signs of cooling off, David Ortiz proved hotter than the Texas heat wave he left behind in Arlington, Texas, going 5 for 8 with a home run, two doubles, and three RBIs in the Red Sox’ rainy doubleheader sweep of the Oakland A’s yesterday at Fenway Park.
Not even the first torrents from Hurricane Irene could put a damper on Ortiz’s day.
The affable designated hitter raised his batting average from .305 to .311 and extended his hitting streak to a season-high 12 games, during which he has hit .522 (24 for 46) with five homers and 14 RBIs.
“I just had to produce,’’ Ortiz said after he paced a nine-hit attack in the 4-0 nightcap by going 3 for 4 with a two-run homer in the second inning off A’s starter Graham Godfrey.
The homer was his 150th at Fenway and the 376th of his career, tying Carlton Fisk for 67th place on baseball’s all-time list.
“It was a long day,’’ Ortiz said. “We all knew we were going to have a long day here today because of the weather conditions, so you just stick with it as long as you can.’’
When he awoke yesterday, Ortiz didn’t figure on having a banner day.
“You just prepared to play the game and go about your business,’’ Ortiz said. “It’s not like you feel great about the weather, but it’s not like you’re going to go all negative up there. You just get prepared like we always do and you go from there.’’
In the first game, a 9-3 romp, Ortiz went 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles, the first of which drove in two runs and staked Jon Lester to a 6-2 lead.
The rain, however, caused a delay of 2 hours 15 minutes before the start of the seventh inning. It made it difficult for Ortiz to focus in the batter’s box.
“It was not good,’’ he said. “I remember this one at-bat where I got water dripping out of my helmet. You had the water, you had the ball coming, so it’s not like you had Superman vision. You just stick with it.
“I’m sure a lot of guys went through that.’’
Asked if he remembered what he did in that particular at-bat, Ortiz replied, “I grounded.’’
Ortiz, no doubt, referred to an inning-ending, 4-6-3 double play in the sixth inning of the first game.
Ortiz returned from an absence caused by right heel bursitis Wednesday night in Texas. In the Rangers series, he went 3 for 8 with a double, a home run, two RBIs, and three runs.
Asked how he got so locked in, Ortiz said, “You work . . . work . . . work . . . and work. That’s it. That’s what you got to do.’’
It seemed to take a bit of a toll on his right heel. “Just a bit,’’ said Ortiz, who required a pinch runner after he singled in the eighth inning of the nightcap.
By then, he and his teammates had earned the right to kick up their heels for the next two days to rest before a three-game set at home against the Yankees.
But Ortiz was not planning any hurricane party at his pad.
“Just chill out at the house, man,’’ he said, wearily. “Watch TV, watch a lot of movies, and laugh at the guys who are going to be playing on Sunday.’’