David Ortiz got 2-and-0 fastball, launched it to center field, watched it clear the wall, rounded the bases, then returned to the Red Sox dugout to collect high fives for his two-run homer in the sixth inning.
Only, two teammates were missing.
Hanley Ramirez wasn’t there to throw up the “three goggles,” the way he generally does after he or Ortiz go deep. Dustin Pedroia wasn’t there to bang elbows.
They were both in the clubhouse putting the trainers to work.
And even though Ortiz’s blast all but sealed a 5-1 win over the Orioles Wednesday night at Fenway Park, rewarding starter Clay Buchholz for seven innings of one-run ball, the Sox were left counting their losses.
Pedroia was dealing with a balky right hamstring. Ramirez was shaking off the sting of a left hand contusion.
“Those are two essential parts of our lineup,” said Xander Bogaerts. “Two big guys, two big bats. Hopefully, everything’s good with them.”
After the win, manager John Farrell was still waiting on test results for both players.
“We’re still in the process of gathering all the information,” Farrell said. “There’s advance imaging going on for both Pedey and Hanley. The injuries are what everyone saw, but we don’t have full information yet.”
As fluky as the play was on which Ramirez was hurt, it was also a harbinger.
With the game still scoreless in the fifth inning, and after Ramirez had singled up the middle against Bud Norris, Farrell decided to put the hit-and-run on with Bogaerts at the plate.
On a 0-and-2 count, Bogaerts got a letter-high fastball on the inside of the plate and sent it through the right side of the infield, which opened up like sliding doors with Ramirez on the move.
Then the freakiest of things happened. The ball, zip-lining off Bogaerts’s bat, hit Ramirez flush in the left hand.
“Once I saw him go, my whole aim was to try to hit the ball that way, and who would have known I would’ve hit a line drive that hit him?” Bogaerts said. “What can you do right there? All I really tried to do once I saw Hanley go was hit it on the ground over there, and it ended up being not something that we really wanted to happen.”
The ball was dead, Ramirez was out, his hand was throbbing as he hopped onto the outfield grass, and ultimately the left fielder exited the game.
“I didn’t know it hit his hand,” Bogaerts said. “I thought maybe it hit his hip or his leg. I mean, he’s a strong guy, so if it hit anywhere there, it would be OK. But it got his fingers and that’s something that’s pretty tough.”
Bogaerts knew firsthand how odd a play it was. A month ago, he was in the same spot as Ramirez, breaking for second on a ground ball to the right side that hopped up and caught him in the foot.
“Again?” Bogaerts said. “I mean, again, me?”
The Sox were used to seeing rallies unravel in weird ways. But the next inning, when they were finally able to string hits together, things were hamstrung in a different way.
The Orioles had gone up, 1-0, on an RBI single from Chris Davis in the top of the sixth, but they made a mess for themselves in the bottom of the inning.
It started when Alejandro De Aza bounced a ground ball that first baseman Chris Davis fumbled. Sensing how close the play would be, De Aza slid headfirst into the bag. Norris was late getting there, and as he tried to step on the bag he stomped on De Aza’s right hand.
“I was just trying to get on base, no matter what happened in the end,” De Aza said.
Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph compounded things by letting a changeup get by him for a passed ball that moved De Aza into scoring position. Then Norris botched a bunt to the left side of the infield by Sandy Leon to make it first and third with Mookie Betts at the plate.
Betts drove in the tying run with a single to right. Then, after a Brock Holt ground ball moved Leon to third and Betts to second, Pedroia stroked a single to left field.
Leon and Betts scored easily, and everything seemed routine when Pedroia rounded first base. But he went back to the bag grabbing at the back of his right thigh. Farrell came out of the dugout with a trainer to check on his second baseman, before pulling him from the game.
“He lost his footing going around the bag,” Farrell said. “He slipped with the left foot, then when he tried to plant and brace himself with the right foot, either the ground gave out or he stepped in a little bit of a hole and wasn’t able to keep solid footing, and that’s where he felt it in the hamstring. Any time a player comes off the field, you’re concerned.”
Even with the padding from Ortiz’s homer, the Sox still took more lumps.
In the seventh, Orioles reliever Brian Matusz lost the handle on a 91-mile-per-hour fastball and hit De Aza in the same hand Norris stepped on.
After the game, De Aza had his hand taped down to the wrist, but Farrell said De Aza would be healthy enough to play in the series finale on Thursday.
“The hit was like by the bone and was bothering me a little bit more,” De Aza said.
The Sox were left taking inventory of their wounds. Bogaerts checked on Ramirez after he was hit.
“Right after the inning, I came in to see how he was doing,” Bogaerts said. “His hand was pretty swollen. That’s pretty much all I can tell you at this point.”
The much-needed win, which snapped a six-game losing streak against the Orioles and a seven-game losing streak against American League East opponents, came with a price.
“We’re always thinking of Pedey and Hanley,” Bogaerts said. “Hoping that everything’s good with them and they can still come back and help us out tomorrow or in the next few games.”