SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners signed David Ortiz out of the Dominican Republic in 1992. He played well enough in the minors to attract the attention of the Minnesota Twins, who asked for Ortiz in a trade.
Ortiz’s career took another turn when the Twins released him and he signed with the Red Sox in 2003.
So perhaps it was fitting all these years later that Ortiz was in Seattle on the night he added another highlight to a baseball resume that is getting crowded with them.
Ortiz set the major league record for the most hits by a designated hitter as the Red Sox beat the Seattle Mariners, 11-4.
The record came in the second inning when Ortiz doubled. He later added a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly. He is hitting .331 with 19 home runs and 65 RBIs and will start in the All-Star Game on Tuesday.
“You never know where you will end up. You never know,” Ortiz said. “It’s great to be part of it. It’s good when your name gets mentioned with some of the greatest hitters who ever played the game.”
Ortiz now has 1,690 hits as a DH, two more than Harold Baines. Ortiz already had the most doubles, home runs, RBIs, runs and extra-base hits as a DH.
When the record was announced on the scoreboard, the crowd of 20,480 at Safeco Field gave Ortiz a standing ovation. He took off his helmet and tipped it each side of the field.
There were many Red Sox fans in the stands, but the Mariners fans cheered as well. Perhaps they remembered what another record-setting DH, Edgar Martinez, meant to their franchise.
“I used to love watching Edgar and Harold Baines hit. Wonderful hitters,” Ortiz said. “When I first came up, watching those guys. Now you’re mentioned next to them. It’s a wonderful thing.”
The Red Sox had a chilled bottle of champagne waiting for Ortiz at his locker.
“He’s meant a lot to this team,” catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. “Look at the year he’s having now. He’s still one of the best hitters in the game.”
The Sox had 12 hits off five Seattle pitchers and led 5-0 by the fourth inning.
Jacoby Ellsbury, back after missing two games with a sore wrist, had three hits, scored two runs and drove in another. He has an 18-game hit streak.
Shane Victorino had two hits and drove in two runs. Daniel Nava was on base four times and scored a run.
The Red Sox are now 3-3 on their West Coast road trip and can take the four-game series from Seattle with a win this afternoon. The Sox have scored 39 runs in the first six games of the trip, 22 in the last two nights.
Felix Doubront (6-3) pitched a strong seven innings for the victory. He allowed one run on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
“He had this game under control,” manager John Farrell said. “He didn’t change this approach despite the runs on the board. He continued to put up zeroes even after we scored runs.”
Doubront had a 6.03 earned run average on May 16. In the 10 starts since, he has a 2.63 ERA. Along with John Lackey and Ryan Dempster, he has helped carry the Red Sox with Jon Lester struggling and Clay Buchholz on the disabled list.
“They’ve been invaluable, their contributions,” Farrell said. “Not only have they been consistent, they’ve been above average in their performance.”
Doubront goes into the All-Star break 6-3 with a 3.91 ERA. He’d almost rather keep pitching.
“I’m a little scared,” he said. “I don’t want to think about it. I want to keep working.”
The only blemish for the Sox was the debut of rookie righthander Brandon Workman.
He came into a 9-1 game in the eighth inning. The first batter, Brendan Ryan homered. Three doubles followed.
But after allowing three runs, the 24-year-old Workman came back for the ninth inning and retired the side in order. He struck out four of the final six batters he faced.
“I was definitely excited they sent me back out for a second inning,” said Workman, whose parents came from Texas for the game. “Obviously giving up a home run to my first batter wasn’t ideal. But I felt like I did a good job bouncing back.”
The Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the second inning against Mariners starter Aaron Harang.
After Ortiz doubled, Mike Napoli walked before Harang hit Nava with a pitch to load the bases. Sacrifice flies by Saltalamacchia and Jose Iglesias scored Ortiz and Napoli, respectively.
In the third inning, Dustin Pedroia came up with two outs and worked a walk. Ortiz then drilled a 90-mph fastball into the seats in right field.
Ortiz has 420 home runs in his career. He needs seven to pass Billy Williams for 47th place all-time.
The lead grew to 5-0 in the fourth inning. Ellsbury doubled to center field with two outs and scored on a single to left field by Victorino.
The Sox took control of the game in the sixth inning, scoring four more runs.
Saltalamacchia led off with a solid single to right field. When Iglesias grounded to the right side, Harang and first baseman Justin Smoak converged on the ball and left the base uncovered. It went for Iglesias’ 21st infield hit of the season.
Harang was taken out of the game. Lucas Luetge got Brock Holt to ground into a force at second.
Ellsbury followed with a soft single to right that scored Saltalamacchia. Holt hustled and took third when Jason Bay was slow to field the ball.
Victorino’s RBI single made it 7-0. When Pedroia grounded to second, shortstop Brad Miller threw the ball away trying to make a play at second and Ellsbury scored. A sacrifice fly by Ortiz made it 9-0.