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Once again, Ortiz delivers10/19/2004 3:55 AM ET
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
BOSTON -- Who's your Big Papi?
Why, it's David Ortiz. That's what the Red Sox call their giant designated hitter and father of two straight marathon victories over the Yankees.
What that means, explained fellow Dominican Pedro Martinez, is "Big Daddy."
"The Yankees really have to think about who their 'Big Papi' is right now," Martinez said Monday night.
Ortiz, the home run hero of Sunday night's 12-inning, 6-4 victory over the Yankees, returned to smack the game-ending single of Monday night's 14-inning, 5-4 win.
What is this, Groundhog Day? Double vision? Pete and Repeat?
"We were talking about that," said teammate Dave Roberts. "Groundhog Day. We'd like to see this two more days of this."
Ortiz came up against Yankees right-hander Esteban Loaiza in the 14th with two outs. Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez were at first and second, both reaching on walks.
The battle commenced. Ortiz was determined.
"We had so many opportunities to execute before and we didn't get it, so it was like I have to get something done here because you're playing against the Yankees and they've got a lot of guys who can win the game with one swing," Ortiz said.
Yankees manager Joe Torre was asked if intentionally walking Ortiz -- considering his earlier impact -- was an option.
"There was a base open and it was third, unfortunately," Torre said. "There are too many things that can happen with a man at third base."
Sure, like a wild pitch or passed ball. The fleet Damon would have been at third. Torre took the status quo.
Loaiza threw nine pitches to Ortiz and he fouled off six of them.
"He had some unbelievable pitches," Ortiz said. "He threw some pitches that I was just trying to foul off because they had good movement and you didn't know if they were going to be balls or strikes because they were getting kind of close."
Finally, he punched a single into center field. The ball dropped in front of Bernie Williams as Damon fled home and ended the game.
"He was locked in," said Roberts, who tied the game in the eighth inning. "He has so much intensity and he gets good at-bats. If he was going to make an out, it was going to be a hard out. The way he's been swinging the bat, he's put us on his shoulders."
Ortiz is hitting .478 in the series with nine of the Red Sox's 26 RBIs.
The Yankees' advantage in the American League Championship Series shrank to 3-2.
Ortiz had tried to get something going in the 12th inning as well -- in the spirit of Rickey Henderson or Lou Brock.
Yep, the big guy tried to steal a base.
Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, undoubtedly startled, threw so high that shortstop Derek Jeter had to leap for the ball. He came down and tagged Ortiz and umpire Randy Marsh called him out.
"I thought I was safe," Ortiz said.
Maybe so. But what in the name of Maury Wills was he thinking? This, after all, was his first steal attempt since joining the Red Sox in 2003.
"You know, I'm not a guy who's going to steal bases, but we needed a run and we didn't any action from the hitters, so that's why I went," he said.
It was a very busy night for Ortiz.
He had an RBI single in the Red Sox's two-run first inning. He blasted a home run over the Green Monster in the eighth to cut the Yankees' lead to 4-3. Later in the inning, the Red Sox forged a 4-4 tie, extending what would become the longest game in postseason history -- five hours, 49 minutes.
Ortiz was asked how if felt to be a walk-off hero two nights in a row.
"I feel like I want to go to the World Series and win it," he said.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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