David Ortiz wants to visit the Boston Marathon finish line Monday after what he hopes will be a series win for the Boston Red Sox over the Baltimore Orioles.
Just more than a year ago on Patriots’ Day, two bombs went off near the finish line less than a mile from Fenway Park about an hour after the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays. Three people were killed and more than 260 injured.
”After the game, we used to stick around and go down Boylston (Street),” Ortiz said. ”I’m going to pick out a spot where I can see things, or whatever, because I love to go down there.”
In what figures to be an emotional finale to this four-game set, Boston will play at its traditional 11 a.m. Patriots’ Day start time.
Five days after last year’s bombing, Ortiz spoke emotionally to the Fenway Park crowd at Boston’s first home game following the tragedy. The Red Sox, who would later win the 2013 World Series, honored first responders, and Ortiz told fans: ”Nobody is going to dictate our freedom,” bringing a loud cheer from the crowd.
”I think Monday is going to be a day that everybody’s going to focus as a citizen, focusing on the history of what happened before," he said. "I think it’s going to be very emotional and there’s going to be happiness around, too, more than sadness, because of the way this city bounced back."
The Red Sox (9-10) held a stirring ceremony prior to Sunday night’s wild 6-5 win over the Orioles (8-9) to honor victims of the bombings along with law enforcement officials, medical personnel, runners and race volunteers.
Boston manager John Farrell said pregame work will be scaled back Monday morning before the Red Sox try to take three of four from their AL East rivals.
Ortiz, Jonny Gomes and Dustin Pedroia had two hits apiece Sunday, with Gomes belting a three-run home run in the sixth inning to help Boston overcome a 5-0 deficit. Pedroia then scored the game-winning run with two outs in the ninth on David Lough’s throwing error, giving the Red Sox their fourth win in five games.
They’ll try to provide Clay Buchholz (0-1, 5.51 ERA) with some run support after giving him a total of two in his last two starts. He allowed three runs – two earned – over six innings in a 6-4, 14-inning road win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.
The right-hander has pitched well at Fenway against the Orioles, going 4-1 with a 1.74 ERA in seven career starts, and he’s won four straight outings in the series – also behind a 1.74 ERA.
Now he’ll try to cool off Adam Jones, who matched a career high with four hits Sunday and is 9 for 17 with two doubles over his last four games. Wieters also went 2 for 5 Sunday, raising his average to .321.
Jones and Wieters, however, are a combined 12 for 57 (.211) with two homers when facing Buchholz.
Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen (2-1, 4.76) seeks his third straight victory after allowing one run and five hits over 6 1-3 innings last Monday in a 7-1 home win over Tampa Bay.
Chen, however, has had a rough time lately against Boston. He’s 0-2 with a 7.97 ERA while giving up 40 hits in 20 1-3 innings in his last four starts in the series.
The left-hander could have his hands full with Pedroia, who is 11 for 22 lifetime in their matchups. The All-Star second baseman is also batting .460 over an 11-game hitting streak versus Baltimore.