|Ortiz, Drew homer as Boston beats Hanshin 6-5|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 21 March 2008 21:28|
In his first at-bat in the country since 2004 - the year he hit a 514-foot homer in the same stadium - Ortiz smacked a long solo shot under the Tokyo Dome roof and over the left-center field wall Saturday.
That started the Red Sox to a 6-5 exhibition win over the Hanshin Tigers, the first of Boston's four games on the trip. They meet the Yomiuri Giants in another exhibition Sunday then play the first two games of the regular season against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
This homer wasn't nearly as far as the one that hit the right field lights just below the roof during a tour with major league All-Stars in November 2004 soon after Boston won its first World Series in 86 years.
But it was a familiar sight as the ball soared toward the 13-foot fence with an eerily similar color to the 37-foot high Green Monster that Big Papi dents with opposite-field hits at Fenway Park.
J.D. Drew added a three-run homer in the first and Kevin Youkilis singled in a run in the second off Yuya Ando. Hanshin cut the lead to 5-4 with four runs in the second against rookie Clay Buchholz, whose bid for a spot in the rotation suffered as he struggled for the fourth time in four spring training starts.
Youkilis singled in another run in the sixth before Keiichi Hirano's sacrifice fly made it 6-5 in the bottom of the inning.
Hanshin right fielder Lew Ford, a Red Sox draft pick in 1999 who hit .272 the past five seasons with Minnesota, went 1-for-2 with two walks.