BOSTON – David Ortiz has racked up enough hits in his career to know how to remain positive during a rough stretch. Now, it looks like everything’s fine again with Big Papi.
Ortiz continued his rebound from a miserable stretch with two hits and three RBI, leading the Boston Red Sox to a 7-6 win over the Chicago White Sox Sunday that completed a sweep of their three-game series.
“Everybody went crazy, but I said don’t worry about me,” he said of his recent slump. “Worry about me when I go to the plate without a baseball bat. It’s been fine. It wasn’t like my timing was totally off. It was one of those situations where you walk into it. It happens to everybody. I wasn’t getting a hit. It wasn’t like I was swinging like I didn’t know what I was doing. It was one of those funks you walk into — four, five, maybe six games.”
Ortiz is 5 for 9 with six RBI since going hitless in his previous 23 at-bats. He needs two hits to become the 39th player in major league history with 2,000 hits, 400 homers and 1,400 RBI.
Manager John Farrell said he felt the slugger’s cold spell turned around with a key two-run single in the series opener Friday.
“Yeah, just a matter of timing. Some things he’s been working on early (in the day),” he said. “You can kind of pinpoint that two-run base hit the other night that has allowed him to relax a little bit and not overswinging the bat.”
Stephen Drew added a solo homer for the AL East-leading Red Sox, who won for the seventh time in eight games.
Brandon Workman (4-2) got four outs in relief for the victory after starter Felix Doubront couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning. Koji Uehara, the fifth Red Sox reliever, worked a perfect ninth for his 16th save.
Tyler Flowers had a solo homer and Conor Gillaspie drove in two runs for the White Sox.
“We have some young guys that are going to have to learn while they’re here,” White Sox Manager Robin Ventura said of his team’s pitching woes the past two days. “Sometimes it doesn’t look pretty. You’ve got to be able to learn from it and keep going.”
Chicago lost 7-2 on Saturday night.
Leading 5-4 in the fourth, the Red Sox scored a pair of runs against reliever Charlie Leesman — one coming on a weird play at third. With Jacoby Ellsbury on third and one out, Dustin Pedroia hit a line drive that third baseman Gillaspie appeared to make a diving grab on, but the ball dropped out of his glove as he stretched trying to double-up Ellsbury. Gillaspie then got up and fired to first, bouncing it wild as the run scored and Pedroia advanced to second.
Third-base umpire Paul Nauert ruled that Gillaspie dropped the ball before completing the catch. Ventura argued and was tossed by second-base umpire Dana DeMuth. Ortiz followed with an RBI single, making it 7-4.
“Obviously, I think I caught it,” Gillaspie said. “Until I know that for sure, I’m going to try to get the guy out at first running, too.”
Flowers’ homer cut it to 7-6 in the eighth.
Boston opened a 5-0 lead after three innings against starter Andre Rienzo (1-1) before the White Sox rallied with four in the fourth, chasing Doubront.
Doubront lasted just 32/3 innings and gave up seven hits and four runs, snapping Boston starters’ streak of allowing three runs or fewer at 11 games. It matched the longest by the team since 1988. The previous best was 12 in 1915.
In the fourth, Jeff Keppinger had a sacrifice fly, Dayan Viciedo an RBI double and Gillaspie a two-run single. The White Sox had the bases loaded, but Workman struck out Leury Garcia to end the inning.
Ortiz’s two-run double capped a four-run second after Ellsbury had a two-run single. Drew’s homer made it 5-0.
Rienzo gave up five runs and five hits in three innings.
NOTES: Red Sox RF Shane Victorino left the game with a bruised left hip after his at-bat in the sixth. … Farrell loaded his lineup with left-handed and switch hitters, giving 1B Mike Napoli the day off. “Rest, and keep everyone involved,” he said. “A right-hander’s on the mound, get left-handers off the bench and into today’s game. We’ve got three more righties coming the next series (against Detroit).” The Red Sox had six of their nine batters hitting from the left side against Rienzo. … The Red Sox improved to a major league-best 25-12 in day games. … There was a 19-minute rain delay before the start.