I've been remiss. I've gone longer than a week without proclaiming my love for David Ortiz.
The Cookie Monster hit two home runs and a single last night in Cleveland, scored three times and drove in four runs. Boston scored in six of the nine innings and coasted behind seven innings from Bronson Arroyo.
Ortiz: "Everywhere we go, we have fans from Boston who don't live there anymore and they support us. Give credit to those fans because they come out and show us some love. The people really know everything we do out there and they not only appreciate what kind of player you are but what kind of personality you have. I guess people like mine."
Both Ortiz and Manny Ramirez are heating up. In the last eight games, Ramirez and Ortiz have combined to hit .381 with seven homers and 25 RBI. Ortiz is batting .417 (10-for-24) with 10 RBI in his last six games. Manny's batting average is climbing -- it's now at .269, the highest it's been since May 2. He's also reached base in 21 straight games.
Arroyo was suitably impressed with Big Papi: "Ortiz just never stops. Home run after home run. ... All of my wins come from Ortiz' offense. For the last three years, he's been so clutch it's not even funny." ... Arroyo relied more on his off-speed stuff last night. "I threw more changeups tonight than I have all year."
Terry Francona said Curt Schilling's simulated game on Monday could not have gone any better, but the team will not rush him back to the rotation. After throwing in the bullpen today, Schilling will pitch another simulated game Friday in Philadelphia.
The Red Sox have not played extra innings in any of their 70 games this season, which is apparently a record, passing the White Sox's run of 69 games in 2002. ... Johnny Damon will probably get tonight off. ... Edgar Renteria's left wrist has been bothering him for the past week. ... Mike Timlin talks about being a closer.
The Yankees scored 13 runs in the 8th inning last night to beat Tampa Bay 20-11. The comeback obscured a horrible, three-inning performance from Randy Johnson. Lou Piniella left Travis Harper on the mound as he allowed back-to-back-to-back home runs and nine runs to the Yankees in .2 inning. While I understand that Piniella (a) didn't want to waste another pitcher and (b) thought he'd teach Harper a lesson and let him get out of his own jam, I wonder exactly where on the continuum of throwing games Piniella's action lies.
The Yankees lost this afternoon as Jeter, representing the tying run, struck out to end the game. So the Yankees dropped two of three to the basement-dwelling Devil Rays, and in their one victory, they allowed 11 runs.
Wade Miller / Cliff Lee at 7:00.