David Ortiz knows a thing or two about getting big hits in big moments, but he can’t come up clutch every night.
Fortunately for Big Papi, there are plenty of other potent bats in the Boston Red Sox’s lineup, including exciting rookie Andrew Benintendi. The 22-year-old left-fielder certainly proved his worth Wednesday night against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
Just moments after the Red Sox took the lead on a two-run error by Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, Benintendi came to bat with two runners on and two outs in the sixth inning. Here’s how he responded to that situation:
Benintendi’s clutch three-run home run, just the second of his Major League Baseball career, came at the perfect time, capping off a five-run frame that seemed to take the wind out of Baltimore’s sails in the Red Sox’s eventual 5-1 win.
And the first man to greet Benintendi after his important hit? Ortiz, of course:
That’s one way to earn the respect of one of the greatest clutch hitters of all time. Benintendi now is batting .317 with two homers and 13 RBIs through his first 25 games, and Ortiz isn’t the only one impressed by the rookie’s poise.
“You watch him in the batters box — as we’ve said, no panic in his swing,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the game, as aired on NESN’s “Extra Innings LIVE.” “(He’s) very calm, very smooth in all his actions, and for a young kid who steps into this pennant race, he’s responded very well.”
Thumbnail photo via Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports Images