5/11/2014 1:15 A.M. ET
Big Papi shows infield shift doesn't always work
By Dave Sessions / Special to MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- David Ortiz broke up Yu Darvish's perfect game Friday in the seventh inning, then broke up his no-hitter with two outs in the ninth. In each of those cases, the Red Sox slugger hit balls to the right side, beating a shifted infield -- and in fact, both balls might have been outs had the Rangers been playing in their normal spots.
"The shift [messed] them up," Ortiz said Friday.
In the seventh, Ortiz's fly ball dropped between second baseman Rougned Odor, playing deep on the grass, and right fielder Alex Rios. The miscommunication between Odor and Rios, who was charged with an error, likely wouldn't have happened if Odor was in his usual position.
In the ninth, Ortiz stroked a grounder between shortstop Elvis Andrus and Odor, neither of whom had a legitimate shot at making a play. Had Odor been playing at his standard spot, he might have had a chance.
"If you're playing normal, that's the end of the game," Ortiz said.
Teams have taken to shifting against left-handed pull hitters more and more in recent years, and while the strategy is generally effective, sometimes it backfires.
"We see it on our end when a hitter will hit against the grain, so to speak. It's probably because we haven't executed as well from the mound, or there's been a pronounced change in the stroke of the hitter at the plate," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "As much as you'd like to be right all the time, this is still going to be about humans executing and it's not going to be 100 percent."
Ortiz alone in fourth on Red Sox all-time HR list
ARLINGTON -- David Ortiz's leadoff homer in the third inning of Saturday night's game against the Rangers was his 380th as a member of the Red Sox, breaking a tie for fourth on Boston's all-time list with Dwight Evans.
Ortiz needs three more home runs to pull even with Jim Rice for third on Boston's all-time list, and 72 more to tie Carl Yastrzemski (452). So what does it mean to Ortiz to be in that rarified company?
"It means I'm getting old," he joked. "You play the game and the last thing you think about is having your name mentioned with those guys. But once it happens, it's an honor."
Ortiz, 38, would have to play at his current level into his mid-40s to catch Ted Williams, the team's leader with 521 homers.
The left-handed Ortiz launched a towering ball 367 feet to right field to give the Red Sox their second of six runs against Rangers starter Martin Perez.
It was his 438th career homer, tying Andre Dawson and Jason Giambi for 40th all-time. Ortiz hit 58 home runs for Minnesota during the first six years of his career.
Ortiz appeals scorer's controversial decision
ARLINGTON -- After Friday night's game, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was clearly upset about what he thought was a poor scoring decision that robbed him of a hit while Yu Darvish was still pitching a perfect game. Now, a Red Sox spokesman confirmed Ortiz will personally appeal the decision per Major League rules.
Ortiz vehemently disagreed with official scorer Steve Weller's decision to call an error on Ortiz's fly ball that dropped between second baseman Rougned Odor and right fielder Alex Rios. He said Friday "they have to" change the call, and now he is appealing to the Commissioner's Office through his agent, Fernando Cuza.
Teams also have the option to appeal a scorer's decision, but in this case, Ortiz is the one pursuing the change.
Weller defended his call after the Red Sox's 8-0 loss Friday, saying that under MLB Rule 10.12(a)(1), a player who would have caught a fly ball "making ordinary effort" can be charged with an error if he doesn't catch it. Weller also said he checked with the Elias Sports Bureau, who agreed with the call, and Weller said at a recent national official scorer's meeting with Elias, scorers had a "consensus" that such calls should be ruled errors.
The appeal will go through the office of Joe Torre, baseball's executive vice president for operations.
Bogaerts OK to play after getting spiked
ARLINGTON -- Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts started Saturday despite getting spiked in the left knee in the fourth inning of Friday's game.
On a steal attempt by Leonys Martin, Bogaerts had his knee in front of the bag and Martin's foot hit Bogaerts's knee as he slid.
"I don't know if he necessarily dropped his left knee to block the bag. It was a bang-bang play," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We're going to teach our middle infielders to straddle the bag to receive the throw on a stolen base. Because of the closeness of the play, he was in the middle of it."
Bogaerts was hitless in his last seven at-bats entering Saturday, with four strikeouts, and was batting .263. He has played in 33 games, tied for second on the team with Mike Napoli behind Dustin Pedroia (34).
"When he does get banged up with some minor things, he's certainly not looking to come out of the lineup," Farrell said of Bogaerts.
Victorino healthy but still no switch in his swing
ARLINGTON -- Though he missed most of the season's first month with a hamstring injury, right fielder Shane Victorino is at full strength after 11 games back, Red Sox manager John Farrell said Friday.
"There's been no restrictions as far as the way he's moved, the range he's shown in right field," Farrell said. "He's responded daily, so it's been as expected."
One thing Victorino may not be doing anytime soon is hitting left-handed. He spent the first decade of his career as a switch-hitter but began hitting exclusively right-handed last August, save for a single postseason game.
Against Yu Darvish, a right-hander, Victorino hit right-handed and struck out three times. Farrell said Saturday that he didn't expect to see him hit left-handed again.
"I don't know that 'permanently' will ever come into the discussion, but we've seen against one of the best right-handers in baseball, he's not hitting left-handed," Farrell said.
For his career, Victorino has hit .268/.329/.401 as a lefty against right-handers. In 216 at-bats as a right-hander against righties, he's at .250/.329/.403.
• After foiling Yu Darvish's no-hitter Friday, the Red Sox have the fourth-longest active streak without being no-hit among Major League teams.
• The Red Sox offense entered Saturday averaging 4.08 pitches per plate appearance, second in the Majors behind Minnesota (4.17).
• The Boston rotation allowed 20 earned runs in the team's previous nine games for a 3.20 ERA, second in the AL behind Detroit (2.59).
Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.