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Published: Saturday, 7/19/2008

Ortiz belts another as Mud Hens lose

BY MIKE SCANDURA
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

PAWTUCKET, R.I. - David Ortiz did it again, much to the chagrin of the Toledo Mud Hens.

Ortiz, who's on a rehab assignment with the Pawtucket Red Sox, ignited a seven-run fourth inning Thursday night with a solo home run and the PawSox routed the Mud Hens 15-6.

Pawtucket led 3-1 in the fifth inning last night when Ortiz walked to the plate with two on and one out.

Anastacio Martinez tried to slip a 1-1 fastball on the outside corner past Ortiz and Boston's all-star designated hitter crushed it into the left-field berm for a three-run homer that keyed a 6-1 victory.

The game was called with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning after a 45-minute delay when a rain storm and lightning rendered the field unplayable.

Ironically, Ortiz was working on taking pitches the other way during batting practice.

"Normally when I'm hitting, my game plan is to use the whole field," Ortiz said. "You've got to work on that in batting practice, obviously, so you can have it when you're in the game.

"Everybody knows that I'm the kind of guy that everybody tries to get me out away, so I've got to work on that."

Even more noteworthy was the fact that Pawtucket had runners on second and third in the fifth but Toledo manager Larry Parrish opted to pitch to Ortiz instead of issue an intentional walk.

"In a normal situation I probably would have walked [Ortiz] and tried to get a double play," Parrish said.

"We wanted to try and make a pitch and see if we could get him out. But, obviously, he took advantage of it."

Toledo's Martinez (2-2), who pitched for Pawtucket in all or part of three seasons from 2003-05, and Devern Hansack (5-9) gave every indication they would hook up in a pitcher's duel as they cruised through the first three innings.

That changed in the fourth when Ortiz drew a leadoff walk and Chris Carter and Dusty Brown followed with singles to load the bases.

Jeff Corsaletti, who was playing in only his second Triple-A game, lined a shot to center that Clete Thomas misplayed into a two-run double (Thomas broke in and then reversed direction). But Martinez avoided further damage thanks to a pair of dubious decisions by the PawSox.

Brown ran through a stop sign at third base and was thrown out on a relay from Thomas to shortstop Michael Holliman to catcher Max St-Pierre.

Then, Corsaletti tried to steal third and St-Pierre threw him out by a foot.

Toledo got one run back in the fifth when Holliman snapped a 2-for-22 slump by belting his 13th home run.

But that paled in comparison with what Pawtucket did in the fifth.

Pawtucket sandwiched walks to Gil Velazquez and Jeff Bailey around a strikeout of Jonathan Van Every, and Joe Thurston ripped an RBI double down the right field line for a 3-1 lead.

That brought up Ortiz who did what he does best, hit clutch home runs.

Hansack, meanwhile, was virtually untouchable.

Other than Holliman's homer, the only other Mud Hen to reach base was Thomas, who doubled in the second. Hansack thus allowed the one run on two hits and no walks, and fanned eight.

"We've played pretty good here the first three innings both nights," Parrish said with a smile. "I told the umpire at third that we were going to play the first three innings and take a siesta and start over again.

"Basically, we didn't do anything tonight."



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