At least there was one bright spot for the Boston Red Sox on an otherwise damp and dreary night.
David Ortiz continued his sensational start to the season, hitting two home runs and tying Ted Williams for the most career multihomer games in franchise history as the Red Sox fell 9-6 to the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday in a game delayed nearly 2 hours by thunderstorms.
“I can’t tell you what to attribute it to,” Boston manager Bobby Valentine said of the 36-year-old Ortiz continuing to swing a hot bat. “His batting practice every day is stellar, his games have been consistently terrific. The only time he got outside of himself was a couple of days ago. Then he got the off day (Sunday) and he came back with a vengeance tonight. I’m not going to try to analyze it, I’m just going to enjoy it. It’s what we’ve needed obviously.”
Ortiz followed a triple by Dustin Pedroia in the first inning with his 19th homer, driving a 96 mph fastball from Henderson Alvarez into the seats behind the Red Sox bullpen and cutting Boston’s deficit to 4-2.
Following the 1-hour, 56-minute rain delay that halted play with two outs in the seventh inning, Ortiz made it 11 straight seasons with at least 20 home runs when he began the eighth by depositing a 1-2 offering from reliever Darren Oliver into the bleachers in center field.
Ortiz, who has 37 multihomer games with Boston, is hitting .304 with 52 RBIs. He has 398 career homers, tying Dale Murphy for 51st all-time.
“It’s unbelievable,” rookie third baseman Will Middlebrooks said. “I thought the guy hits everything hard.”
Jose Bautista, Colby Rasmus and J.P. Arencibia hit two-run homers Monday night to lead the Blue Jays.
It was the fourth win in six games for Toronto, which overcame two errors and blew an early four-run lead.
Alvarez (4-6) pitched five innings then left with right elbow soreness. He allowed five runs – three earned – and six hits to snap a four-game losing streak. The Blue Jays had lost his last seven starts.
Casey Janssen worked the ninth for his eighth save.
Boston’s Felix Doubront (8-4) gave up seven runs – five earned – and 11 hits in six innings.
Boston lost for just the third time in its last 12 games.
With the score tied 5-5 in the sixth, Ben Francisco had a two-out double off the wall in center field over Ryan Kalish’s leap and Arencibia homered off a sign over the Green Monster seats.
Bautista’s homer, his 24th, off reliever Matt Albers made it 9-5 in the seventh. The Blue Jays had a runner on first with two outs when heavy rain accompanied by lightning and thunder delayed the game.
After play resumed, Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion and Bautista both made diving plays on balls.
The Blue Jays took advantage of third baseman Middlebrooks’ fielding error to score two unearned runs in a four-run first. Brett Lawrie opened the game with a single before Rasmus hit a homer that hooked around the right-field foul pole, his 14th, to make it 2-0. Bautista reached on the error and scored on Encarnacion’s double. Rajai Davis hustled down the line for a run-scoring fielder’s choice.
Rasmus’ RBI single made it 5-2 in the fifth.
In the third, the Blue Jays made two errors – one by shortstop Yunel Escobar and the other by second baseman Kelly Johnson – which led to both runs. Johnson booted Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s two-out grounder, allowing Pedroia to score from third, before Adrian Gonzalez followed with an RBI single.
Kalish’s RBI single tied it in the fourth.
NOTES: The Blue Jays are tied with the Yankees with 54 road homers. … Middlebrooks was named the AL’s Player of the Week on Monday. “It’s a nice bonus,” Valentine said. “He had a great week.” Outfielder Cody Ross joked, “he stole it from me. I made a good push, though.” Ross had two homers and five RBIs in Boston’s win Sunday. … Blue Jays 1B Adam Lind was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday. “It was in an environment that allowed him to relax and get back to the type of player he was in Toronto,” manager John Farrell said. “His performance has forced the decision to get him back here to get a productive left-handed hitter back in the lineup. He just felt like his body was more loose and he had increased range at first base.” … Valentine said RHP Josh Beckett, on the 15-day DL with shoulder inflammation, may pitch Friday in Seattle. He’s eligible to come off the DL Thursday.