10/03/05 8:29 PM ET
Ortiz named AL Player of the Month
When Red Sox games were on the line, Big Papi delivered
By Ben Couch / MLB.com
He backed it up in September, leading the league with 11 home runs and earning recognition as the American League Player of the Month. It is the first time Ortiz has won the award.
"I've been on teams for three years, and I haven't seen as many clutch hits as he's had this year," Matt Clement said on Sept. 30. "What he's done speaks for itself. You saw it last year, and to see it live this year is just tremendous. I can't say enough about the guy. If that's not enough to win the MVP, I don't know what is."
In 29 games, Ortiz batted .320 (33-for-103) with 19 runs scored, 29 RBIs, a .670 slugging percentage and a .425 on-base percentage. Ortiz reached base in every game but two, and reeled off a nine-game hitting streak from Sept. 12-20.
Ortiz homered in three consecutive games from Sept. 12-14. He shared the AL Player of the Week award that week with the Yankees' Robinson Cano. Ortiz had two multi-home run games, twice bashing two balls out of the park.
He dramatically hit a ninth-inning game-winning home run to beat the Angels, 3-2, on Sept. 6. He also ripped a game-tying eighth-inning home run against Toronto on Sept. 29 before lacing a game-winning single in the ninth. That win kept Boston within one game of the first-place Yankees entering the two teams' season-ending three-game series.
"I think the best thing that ever happened to this team was winning this game," Ortiz said after the win. "Everybody was on their toes tonight. Everybody was having attitude out there."
Rangers first baseman Mark Teixeira finished second in the award voting.
Ben Couch is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.