Angels-Red Sox Preview
Ortiz looks to lead the Red Sox to another win over the Angels in the finale of this three-game series at Fenway Park on Sunday.
Ortiz is batting .317 with a team-leading 12 homers, 45 RBIs and 30 runs, but his impact has been felt much more in victories.
The designated hitter has a .398 average with eight homers, 32 RBIs and 24 runs in his team's 38 wins, compared to .203/4/13/6 in its 25 losses.
Ortiz went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts while stranding six runners in a 9-5 defeat to Los Angeles (27-35) in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday. However, he had a home run and a double and scored three times in a 7-2 win in the nightcap as the Red Sox ended a nine-game slide to the Angels.
The starkly contrasting performances for Ortiz in wins and losses have been similar against Los Angeles. He has a .388 average with 22 homers and 61 RBIs in 51 victories, including playoffs, over the Angels while batting .185 with four homers and 14 RBIs in 35 defeats.
Ortiz is 10 for 29 with three homers against Los Angeles' scheduled starter Joe Blanton.
Ryan Dempster (3-6, 4.39 ERA) hopes Ortiz can contribute to a repeat offensive performance of the right-hander's last outing as he tries to build on his first home win in five starts. Dempster allowed three runs and two homers in seven innings of a 17-5 win over Texas on Tuesday.
"I like my chances when we get 17 runs," said Dempster, who had lost four straight home starts with a 5.73 ERA but received five runs of support in that span.
He may need a similar offensive outburst to beat the Angels, as he's 0-2 with an 11.20 ERA in three starts against them - all last year with the Rangers.
Los Angeles has dropped six of eight, so manager Mike Scioscia wasn't too happy with splitting Saturday's twinbill.
"I don't know about feeling satisfied. You want to pour your heart into every game and when you don't win, you're disappointed," he said.
Blanton (1-9, 5.53) likely shares that sentiment as he's tied with Philadelphia's Cole Hamels for the major league lead in losses.
His teammates haven't always helped him out, as the right-hander has been backed by 3.3 runs per game. He's gotten one total run of support in losing his last two starts, during which he's posted a 3.00 ERA.
"It's baseball," Blanton told the team's official website. "It's not like they're not trying to (score runs). I'm trying to go out and win ballgames, and sometimes that happens."
Los Angeles wasted perhaps Blanton's best start of the season Monday, when he yielded two runs and three hits with a career high-tying 11 strikeouts in eight innings of a 2-1 loss to Houston.
Mike Trout had four hits in nine at-bats Saturday and owns a .389 average with six RBIs, eight runs and five walks in eight career games at Boston.
The center fielder is 3 for 7 with a home run, triple and double off Dempster.
Albert Pujols, batting .167 over the past 10 games, may benefit from a matchup with Dempster. The first baseman is batting .345 against him with seven homers, his highest total against any pitcher.