BOSTON – David Ortiz has even run out of ways to talk about his red-hot return.
Ortiz had two hits and three RBI to extend his torrid start after a long layoff, and Felix Doubront overcame a wild first inning Saturday night to pitch into the seventh as the Boston Red Sox beat the struggling Houston Astros, 8-4.
“I ain’t talking about that anymore,” said Ortiz, joking with the media as he dressed quickly in front of his locker. “You make up a new question, I’ll answer it. Otherwise, copy what I said yesterday and the day before.”
Ortiz, 37, made quite a return in his first seven games. He is hitting .519 (14 of 27) with two homers and nine RBI since getting back into the lineup April 20 after missing 71 of the final 72 games last season and all of spring training with a heel injury.
“He’s doing things that look to him to be very easy, but it’s hard to imagine or even script out that he’d have this kind of performance considering the layoff,” Red Sox Manager John Farrell said.
It was 14th win in 19 games for the surging Red Sox (17-7). Boston can tie a club record for the most wins in April by completing a four-game sweep Sunday against Houston (7-17).
The Astros, coming off 56- and 55-win seasons in the National League, are finding their new league just as tough.
“I don’t get caught up in the record,” Manager Bo Porter said. “I deal with each day, each game, one game at a time.”
Boston matched its best start since 2002 with its fourth straight win.
The Red Sox went 18-8 in April 1998 and 2003.
Jacoby Ellsbury had a two-run single for the Red Sox. Dustin Pedroia and Daniel Nava each added two hits and an RBI.
Doubront (3-0) walked three in the first, hit a batter and had a wild pitch before settling down to hold the Astros to three runs and four hits, striking out eight and walking four over 62/3 innings.
“Seriously, I don’t know what happened in the first inning,” Doubront said. “I was feeling like I was using more of my arm than my body. I was frustrated because I was thinking a little too much. But overall, after the first inning, I was really focused and I wasn’t thinking about my mechanics at all. I was throwing the ball. I was so happy I did that.”
Doubront retired 17 of 19 batters after the rough beginning. He was pulled with a runner on in the seventh. Alex Wilson escaped a bases-loaded, eighth-inning jam and Andrew Miller pitched the ninth.