10/16/08 11:30 PM EST
Red Sox Short Hops: Game 5
Ortiz accelerates season-saving outburst with three-run homer
By Mark Remme / MLB.com
Boston spotted Tampa Bay a seven-run lead, but the Rays' bullpen allowed eight runs after Scott Kazmir's six-inning gem.
David Ortiz broke out of a 61 at-bat postseason homerless slump in the seventh inning, blasting a three-run shot to cut the Red Sox's deficit to 7-4. It not only got Big Papi back on the stat sheet, but it woke up the Fenway Park crowd and gave Boston new life.
8 -- Runs the Rays' bullpen allowed after Kazmir's six innings of shutout baseball. Game balls David Ortiz
Big Papi crushed a three-run homer to right off Grant Balfour, though it was essentially the only time Ortiz has made a splash during the entire ALCS.
His two-run homer in the eighth inning brought the Red Sox to within one run at 7-6, then his hit in the ninth gave Boston the walk-off win.
He scored the game-winning run after reaching base in the ninth inning with a clutch two-out at-bat.
Sense of October
Fenway Park absolutely erupted after Ortiz hit his blast in the seventh inning, reminiscent of the Red Sox's Game 4 comeback in the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees. The result? The Sox have new energy, and they're headed back to St. Petersburg with renewed confidence.
5 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Comment: Ortiz's homer in the seventh inning was his 12th postseason long ball in a Red Sox uniform. That put him past Manny Ramirez for the most in club history.
5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 0 HR
Comment: After Daisuke Matsuzaka left the game in the fourth inning with a 5-0 deficit, Boston's 'pen helped shut the door and allowed the Sox to climb back into the game.
In the sixth inning, it looked like the Red Sox were done for the season. But a late eight-run surge gave the dangerous club new life. Next is a trip back to St. Petersburg for Game 6 on Saturday night.
Mark Remme is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.