A day after launching his 399th career home run at Fenway Park, David Ortiz missed out on reaching the 400-homer plateau in his first game against the Mariners, finishing 1-for-4 with a single.
Only two players have blasted their 400th career homers in Seattle –– Dave Kingman and Manny Ramirez. Ramirez rifled a three-run shot on May 15, 2005 off Mariners starter Gil Meche to reach the historic mark.
Part of the reason Ortiz couldn't follow suit on Day One for the road to 400 was because he ran into a sizzling hot Seattle starter Felix Hernandez, who pieced together a masterful complete-game outing.
It started in the first inning, when the Mariners' ace tossed three pitches –– a cutter, a curveball and sinker –– to get Ortiz out on a liner. In the second go-around, Ortiz wasn't much better.
Hernandez fired an 80 mph curveball against the slugger. With that first-pitch strike to his advantage, Hernandez revved up the speed on his next two pitches before freezing out Ortiz on a sneaky slider.
During the sixth inning, Ortiz worked Hernandez for a five-pitch at-bat, the sequence between the pair. In that one, Hernandez unleashed heater after heater with his first four pitches, but induced a ground out to first base with a changeup on the fifth.
Ortiz's lone triumph came in the ninth, when he smacked Hernandez's 81 mph curveball into center field for a single. After getting on base, Ortiz was removed in favor of pinch-runner Brent Lillibridge.
For now, the chase continues for Ortiz. On Friday, he'll have a chance to achieve the milestone against Mariners starter Hector Noesi.
In two career at-bats against Noesi, Ortiz is 1-for-2 with a two-run homer.
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