An awesome home run by Ortiz in Japan
By ROB SMAAL, Associated Press Writer
November 6, 2004
TOKYO (AP) -- Even David Ortiz was amazed by this home run -- a 514-foot shot that hit the lights down the right-field line.
``I knew when I hit it that I got all of it,'' the Boston Red Sox slugger said after the major league All-Stars beat the Japanese stars 5-3 Saturday night in Game 2 of their series. ``I thought for a second that it might land in the Dominican (Republic).''
Manager Bruce Bochy of the San Diego Padres said it was the longest home run he had ever seen in all his years in baseball.
Ortiz, who helped power the Red Sox to a World Series title last month, led his touring team to a 7-2 victory in Friday's opener. A day later, he drew gasps from the Tokyo Dome crowd of 52,000 with his solo homer in the bottom of the fourth off starter Shunsuke Watanabe.
``It felt like he hit that ball almost twice the length of the stadium,'' said Chiba Lotte Marines submariner Watanabe, who gave up six hits and three runs in five innings of work. ``You can't make any mistakes against these guys.''
Cleveland Indians catcher Victor Martinez singled home pinch-runner Marcus Giles of the Atlanta Braves to break a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning. Brad Wilkerson of the Expos followed with a run-scoring double.
Tampa Bay outfielder Carl Crawford, the MVP of Game 2, went 3-for-4, including a leadoff homer in the first inning. Crawford also made a spectacular diving catch in the fourth and stole a base in the fifth.
Braves right-hander Chris Reitsma got the win with one inning in relief. Francisco Rodriguez of the Anaheim Angels retired the side in order in the ninth for the save.
The teams meet again Sunday in Tokyo before playing in Fukuoka, Osaka, Sapporo and Nagoya. The eight-game series ends in Tokyo on Nov. 14.
Major league All-Stars previously toured Japan in 2002, finishing with a 5-3 record. The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Devil Rays opened the 2004 season by splitting a pair of games at the Tokyo Dome. Since 1908, there have 34 tours of Japan by major league All-Stars, Negro league teams and individual clubs.