DH breaks Red Sox record with 51st, 52nd homers

Thursday, September 21st 2006, 10:32 pm
By: News On 6

BOSTON (AP) _ David Ortiz hit his 51st and 52nd homers Thursday night, breaking the Red Sox record for most homers in a season of 50 set in 1938 by Jimmie Foxx.

Ortiz connected on the first pitch he saw in the first inning from Johan Santana, sending it over the Boston bullpen in right-center field. The lefty designated hitter hit the ball even further in the seventh, belting it over the center-field wall on a full count against Matt Guerrier.

The 52 homers ties Ortiz for 12th most in AL history.

On the record-breaking shot, Ortiz hit the ball with two outs and the bases empty. He circled the bases to a standing ovation. The only other player to hit his 51st homer at Fenway Park was Mickey Mantle, who did it exactly 50 years before Ortiz.

The homers also set the major league record by a designated hitter. He has 45, two more than he hit when he set the record last season.

Ortiz had tied the records on Wednesday night with another solo shot, off Boof Bonser. On Thursday, he hit his 51st off the left-handed Santana, the AL leader in wins and ERA.

When he reached home plate, Ortiz raised both hands to the sky, his usual post-home run gesture, then went to on-deck hitter Mike Lowell, who congratulated him. Ortiz's teammates were on the top step of the dugout or inside it and applauded as he approached.

Manager Terry Francona was one of the first to hug him and others followed. Ortiz then left the dugout and tipped his cap.

His teammates gave him the silent treatment after his second homer, allowing him to go in the dugout and put his helmet away. A few seconds later they surrounded him with hugs and smiles.

The homers increased his AL leading totals in homers and RBIs with 132. Philadelphia's Ryan Howard leads the majors in both categories.