Ortiz continues to torch lefties

June, 5, 2011
BOSTON -- When it comes to facing left-handed pitchers, the Sox’ David Ortiz no longer is feeling left out.

[+] EnlargeOrtiz/Crawford
Jim Rogash/Getty ImagesDavid Ortiz, who had three more hits against a lefty on Sunday, congratulates Carl Crawford, who hit his first Fenway homer with the Sox.
After suffering through a couple of tough seasons against left-handed pitching, Ortiz has been feasting on southpaws this year, including a 3-for-3 performance Sunday against Oakland lefty Brett Anderson.

Ortiz crushed the ball all three times -- single to left in the first, double to left-center in the third, and a single to center in the fourth. That flurry boosted his average this year against lefties to a scorching .355 (22-for-62).

The Sox designated hitter admits that he has made some adjustments against left-handers this season.

“I’m pretty much a pull hitter, and pulling everything against lefties wasn’t working for me. [This year] I’m trying to stay through the ball and wait for the ball to get deeper to me,” Ortiz said of his approach, which has resulted in him hitting the ball the other way with great success against lefties.

Ortiz’s improved numbers play a large role in Boston's 12-7 record in games started by opposing left-handers.

“He’s staying balanced and driving balls a lot,” Francona said of Ortiz. “When he’s in the middle of the lineup and he’s like that against left-handers that really helps us.”

Ortiz has been hitting right-handers too, with his overall average sitting at .325. He has a 10-game hitting streak at Fenway during which he is batting .500 (20-for-40) with 6 doubles, 4 homers and 9 RBIs.

Intern Darren Hartwell contributed to this report.



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