By Don Ruiz The News Tribune
SEATTLE — At Safeco Field, just off of Edgar Martinez Drive, Boston’s David Ortiz launched a second-inning double Wednesday that gave him the most hits as a designated hitter in Major League history.
It was Ortiz’s 1,689th hit as a DH, moving him one past Harold Baines, whom he had caught the night before. Martinez, who played for Seattle from 1987-2004 is third on the list with 1,607.
After that double, Ortiz came around to score the game’s first run added a home run in the third, and brought home another run in the sixth, in leading the Red Sox (56-37) to what eventually played out as an 11-4 win over the Seattle Mariners (40-51).
“He’s still a force,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. “I’ve seen too much of him over the years. He’s just about as professional as a hitter as you can be: still has the bat speed, still has the power, commands the strike zone probably as good as anybody in the game. … You’ve got guys behind him too. They’ve got one of the best offenses in baseball. You put somebody on and they’ve got somebody else coming up.”
It was the Boston’s second double-digit scoring outburst in as many days, and their 11th of the season, matching St. Louis for the most in the majors.
Seattle starter Aaron Harang (4-8) gave up a single to the first batter he faced: Jacoby Ellsbury, who extended his hitting streak to 18 games. It was a sign of things to come.
Harang left in the sixth inning, having allowed seven earned runs, eight hits, three walks and on hit batter.
“Aaron struggled,” Wedge said. “He battled and he tried to get through it, but he couldn’t take it any further than that. And then it actually got worse from there. It wasn’t a very good ball game at all. I mean, we didn’t play very well. They’ve been knocking the ball around the ballpark the last couple of days.”
Other changes came in the seventh, when Nick Franklin and Raul Ibanez were taken out, Brendan Ryan went to short, Brad Miller moved to second, and Dustin Ackley made his debut in left field.
“(Franklin’s) knee acted up on him again, so we’ll see how he feels (Thursday),” Wedge said. “And Raul, I was getting him out of there to give him a couple of innings off, especially with the day game (Thursday). And it was a good chance to get Ackley in left field. He got one ball out there and looked fine. We hadn’t had him out there, so it was a good chance to get him out there for a couple of innings.”
The Mariners got their first run in the seventh, which started with a Jason Bay double. He came home from third on a two-out single by Henry Blanco, drawing mock cheers from some of those left from what had been an announced crowd of 20,480.
The win went to Boston starter Felix Doubront (6-3) who allowed one run and eight hits over seven innings.
The Mariners’ offense stirred after that. It couldn’t change the result, but it did manage to dust up the major league debut of Brandon Workman. Ryan, the first batter he faced, greeted him with a home run. Three doubles and a couple of more runs followed before Workman got his first big league inning behind him.
“(Doubront) threw a good ball game against us,” Wedge said. “I thought he kept us off balance, pitched very well. We made a little run their late – nice to see us swing the bats a little bit.”