BOSTON — David Ortiz was full of laughs after his heroics in the Red Sox’s 4-2 win over the New York Yankees.
The Red Sox designated hitter smashed a game-winning two-run home run onto the Green Monster in the eighth inning Friday, showing he truly has no plans to slow down despite 2016 being his final season. And when a reporter pointed out to Ortiz that fans probably would like to see him play for a few more years, he joked that it could happen.
At least we think it was a joke.
“That’s what it’s going to be,” Ortiz said. “That’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to try to enjoy my retirement. If I get bored, I’ll just call the Red Sox and tell them to activate me again.”
All jokes aside, Ortiz did give the Yankees plenty of credit for holding the Red Sox to three hits going into the seventh inning before Jackie Bradley Jr. and himself started putting runs on the board.
“That was a hell of a game,” Ortiz said. “Both teams played their asses off, and I’m pretty sure that their end of losing the game, if I’m a Yankee fan I’d be happy from what I saw.
“(Yankees starter Masahiro) Tanaka was filthy tonight. He was focused. He knew that he was facing a good offensive team, and he wasn’t giving in to nobody. I’m pretty sure that’s what the Yankees expect from him. A good pitcher that is under control and did what he was capable of tonight.”
Here are some more notes from Friday’s win.
— Everyone had plenty of praise for Ortiz after the game, but Red Sox manager John Farrell had some nice things to say about him before the game, too, saying the team wants to give Ortiz the ultimate retirement gift.
“What he’s meant to everyone in our uniform, in this city, goes far beyond the walls of Fenway,” Farrell said. “We’re hopeful that we can deliver him something special in a gift, and that’s a winning season that works deep into October.”
— Henry Owens pitched a quality start, but his fastball velocity was down, and the pitch really wasn’t effective in the early innings. But the left-hander credited catcher Ryan Hanigan for helping him hold things down after he started the game a little bit amped up.
“There were some mechanical adjustments I made,” Owens said. “I came out a little erratic, trying to do too much, maybe focusing too much, but I felt like as the game went on, I kind of got into a better rhythm. I just wanted to finish strong and keep the momentum on our side.”
— Bradley deserves a lot of credit for tying the game with a two-run double in the seventh inning. The center fielder has 10 RBIs on the season, and six of them came in his past six games. The double was his third clutch hit in six games, too.
“It’s just one of those things where I’m fortunate enough to be in at the right time at the right spot,” Bradley said of his late-innings success. “You have guys in front of me who got on base, and I was able to follow their lead.”
— Ortiz hitting go-ahead homers against the Yankees is not unfamiliar territory. Of his 48 career home runs against New York, 14 of them have given the Red Sox the lead.
— Farrell had an update on starter Joe Kelly before Friday’s game. The skipper said Kelly threw a 35-pitch bullpen Friday and would throw long toss on Sunday with another bullpen coming Tuesday. After that, the Red Sox would send him on a rehab assignment with the hopes of getting him back up to at least 80 pitches.
— Farrell also said starter Eduardo Rodriguez was “probably a little rusty” in his shaky rehab start Thursday but that the lefty was fine from a health standpoint. Farrell said the Red Sox wouldn’t be able to determine if Rodriguez needs a third start in Triple-A Pawtucket until he pitches again Tuesday.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images