Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz is in his final MLB season, but he’s still one of the league’s best hitters.
Big Papi is off to a fantastic start in 2016. He’s batting .385 (5 for 13) with two home runs, five RBIs, a .467 on-base percentage and a 1.467 OPS. Four of his hits have gone for extra bases.
Ortiz went 2 for 4 with a pair of RBIs, a run scored and a walk in Boston’s 8-7 comeback win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.
His run-scoring double in the third inning gave him 103 career RBIs at Rogers Centre, the highest total of any opponent in that stadium.
Ortiz’s production has led a red-hot Red Sox lineup that is scoring runs at an impressive rate. The Sox have scored six or more runs in each of their first three games of the season for the first time since 1995. Six of the eight batters who’ve played in all three games have three or more hits.
Let’s check out some other notes from Friday’s win.
— Red Sox starter Joe Kelly made his season debut, and his struggles against the Blue Jays continued. He gave up seven earned runs on seven hits and issued three walks while striking out four over three innings. Kelly has given up 29 hits and 23 earned runs through 26 and 1/3 innings in his last five starts versus Toronto.
— The Red Sox’s bullpen proved to be the difference in this game by throwing six scoreless innings and retiring 14 of the final 15 Toronto hitters.
Noe Ramirez was the first to come out of the bullpen. He entered the game with zero outs in the fourth inning, right after Josh Donaldson’s grand slam gave the Blue Jays a 7-2 lead and ended Kelly’s outing.
Junichi Tazawa pitched a perfect inning in Toronto for the first time since Sept. 14, 2012. He entered the game with a 6.52 ERA and five home runs allowed in 10 career outings at Rogers Centre.
Kimbrel made his second appearance of the season and picked up his first save as a member of the Red Sox. He has walked one with three strikeouts and no hits allowed through two innings.
Here are the stat lines for all five Boston relievers Friday night.
- Noe Ramirez: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO
- Matt Barnes (W): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, O BB, 0 SO
- Junichi Tazawa: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO
- Koji Uehara: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO
- Kimbrel (S): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO
— The Red Sox erased a five-run deficit to beat the Blue Jays, besting their largest deficit overcome in a victory from last season (four runs).
— Brock Holt went 2 for 4 with a double, his first career grand slam and a career-high 5 RBIs. He’s collected two hits and at least one RBI in each of Boston’s three games this season.
— The Blue Jays unveiled a new banner before the game.
— Donaldson, the reigning AL MVP, became the first Blue Jays player to ever hit a grand slam in their home opener.
— Late-game offense has been a problem for the Blue Jays thus far.
Thumbnail photo via Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Apr 8, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) hits an RBI double against Toronto Blue Jays in the third inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports