Honored for off-field efforts, Papi then delivers on it

After first of three pregame ceremonies, Red Sox DH rips clutch go-ahead homer

Honored for off-field efforts, Papi then delivers on it

BOSTON -- Prior to the game, in the first of three ceremonies that will be held for David Ortiz this weekend, the Red Sox chose to focus on the generous slugger's off-field accomplishments.

But once it was time to play baseball, Ortiz's bat again stole the show and led his team to a 5-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Friday night at Fenway Park.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Papi's night: DH hurts Jays with decisive HR

Papi's night: DH hurts Jays with decisive HR

BOSTON -- David Ortiz began his final regular-season weekend with a go-ahead two-run homer that damaged Toronto's postseason hopes while leading the Red Sox to a 5-3 victory Friday at Fenway Park that improved their chances at home field in the American League Division Series.

The loss slipped the Blue Jays into the second AL Wild Card spot one game behind the Orioles, who beat the Yankees. Toronto is just a half-game ahead of the Tigers, who defeated the Braves, and one game ahead of the Mariners, who beat the A's. The Red Sox maintained their half-game lead over the Indians for the No. 2 seed and own the tiebreaker because Boston won the season series. The Red Sox-Indians matchup in the Division Series is set now that Texas clinched the No. 1 seed in the AL.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pedroia reaches 200-hit milestone for 2nd time

Pedroia reaches 200-hit milestone for 2nd time

BOSTON -- In a season full of offensive outbursts that have left opponents shaking their heads, the Red Sox have left no doubt that they have the best offense in baseball. While Mookie Betts, David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez have grabbed most of the headlines, Dustin Pedroia has quietly gone about his business.

Like so many other times this season, Pedroia was the spark plug in a 5-3 win over the Blue Jays on Friday night, going 3-for-5 and picking up his first 200-hit season since 2008, when he won the American League Most Valuable Player Award. With the win, the Red Sox maintained a half-game lead over the Indians, who beat the Royals, for home-field advantage in their AL Division Series matchup. The Rangers clinched home field throughout the postseason with a win over the Rays.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dribbler ignites Sox rally, proves costly for Jays

Dribbler ignites Sox rally, proves costly for Jays

BOSTON -- Boston used a four-run rally to send the Blue Jays to a crushing 5-3 loss on Friday night, but the come-from-behind victory might never have happened without a bizarre series of events in the seventh inning.

Before David Ortiz hit the decisive two-run homer, there was a strange play that helped make everything possible. A little dribbler in front of the plate, a Russell Martin error and a ball trapped under a tarp. Just like that, the Blue Jays were in trouble.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

E-Rod, Sox eye ALDS home field on Papi's weekend

E-Rod, Sox eye ALDS home field on Papi's weekend

No shortage of motivation will exist for the Blue Jays and Red Sox on Saturday at Fenway Park. The Red Sox are jockeying for home-field advantage in the American League Division Series with the Indians, and the Blue Jays are looking to stay in the AL Wild Card race.

The Red Sox lead the Indians by a half-game for home field in their ALDS matchup, while the Blue Jays are one game behind the Orioles for the top AL Wild Card spot. Toronto holds a half-game lead over Detroit for the second spot.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Porcello ties bow on Cy Young-worthy season

Porcello ties bow on Cy Young-worthy season

BOSTON -- It's David Ortiz's final regular-season series of his career this weekend at Fenway Park, but Rick Porcello, the right-hander who started for the Red Sox on Friday night in a 5-3 win over the Blue Jays, is making his own pitch for attention.

Porcello has been Boston's best starter this season, and by all rights he should be out there on the mound on Thursday when his club opens its American League Division Series against the Indians.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Farrell plans to use 4 starting pitchers in ALDS

Porcello, Price, E-Rod, Buchholz will get call; Wright could return for ALCS

Farrell plans to use 4 starting pitchers in ALDS

BOSTON -- Red Sox manager John Farrell plans on using four starters in the American League Division Series, and knuckleballer Steven Wright won't be among them. The earliest Wright would be able to return from his right shoulder bursitis is the AL Championship Series.

Rick Porcello, David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez and Clay Buchholz will be the four starters, and Farrell will wait until he knows for certain the opponent and where the series will start before announcing the alignment.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

3 reasons Red Sox can win World Series

3 reasons Red Sox can win World Series

The Red Sox have the momentum, the talent and the balance that teams strive for at this time of year, and that's why David Ortiz could end his career with a fourth World Series parade.

All season long, Boston was in contention. But when September started, the Red Sox surged despite a road-dominant schedule.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks put aside rivalry, honor Big Papi

Yanks put aside rivalry, honor Big Papi

NEW YORK -- The Yankees put the heat of their long-standing rivalry with the Red Sox aside for a few minutes on Thursday night with a thoughtful ceremony to honor David Ortiz, who played his 117th and final game in the Bronx.

Ortiz's former teammate and current Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury came on to the field along with retired pitcher David Cone to present the slugger with a custom-created leather-bound book before the Red Sox's 5-1 loss.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bogaerts homers, but Sox fall to Yanks

Bogaerts homers, but Sox fall to Yanks

NEW YORK -- On the evening that the Yankees' playoff hopes met their end, CC Sabathia completed his season on a strong note, striking out eight over 7 1/3 efficient frames in a 5-1 victory to complete a three-game sweep of the Red Sox on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.

Starlin Castro, Jacoby Ellsbury and Aaron Hicks had run-scoring doubles for the Yankees (83-76), who were mathematically eliminated from the race for the second American League Wild Card by the Orioles' 4-0 win over the Blue Jays in Toronto.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A look back at Big Papi's best fashion choices

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A look back at Big Papi's best fashion choices

When you think of David Ortiz, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Dingers, probably -- specifically of the walk-off variety. Maybe even the occasional bat flip or umpire ejection. 

But while David Ortiz: Hall of Fame slugger is legendary, we're here to talk about a different but equally important side of Big Papi. The side that wears shirts with tigers on them. The side that knows there's no shame in occasionally dressing for that 98 Degrees audition.

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Sox plan weekend-long ceremonies for Ortiz

Sox plan weekend-long ceremonies for Ortiz

NEW YORK -- The Red Sox and their fans are ready to celebrate David Ortiz's final regular-season weekend at Fenway Park, which will start Friday night against the Blue Jays.

In honor of their beloved slugger who has helped raise three World Series championship banners at Fenway Park, the Red Sox will hold ceremonies prior to all three games this weekend. All three ceremonies will be streamed live on MLB.com.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sox mow Ortiz's homer celebration into outfield

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Sox mow Ortiz's homer celebration into outfield

If you've watched enough alien invasion films, you know the moment: The farmer walks into his cornfield and notices something's wrong. The stalks are crushed, there's a strange smell in the air, and what's that -- is that some kind of design? The camera peels back to reveal that there's an intricate and terrifying crop circle carved into the land. 

Hopefully that exact scene will play out for Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar when Toronto takes on the Red Sox this weekend. That's because Fenway Park's center field will be covered in mankind's greatest art: David Ortiz's home run celebration. 

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5 days in 2016 that set Red Sox on their path

5 days in 2016 that set Red Sox on their path

One of the unmistakable traits of a championship season is the signature moments and events that take place along the way. With the Red Sox showing peak form late in the season to secure their first American League East title and postseason berth since 2013, the most significant developments all took place after the All-Star break.

Here is a look back at what got this team to the point of being back on the big stage in October.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Bloom: Papi delighted by Bronx sendoff

Pregame ceremony, cheers move Red Sox great in Bronx finale

Bloom: Papi delighted by Bronx sendoff

NEW YORK -- New Yorkers said goodbye to David Ortiz on Thursday night, and they did it in style. Before and during Big Papi's last night playing in the Bronx, Yankees fans came through big time.

From greetings on the streets of Manhattan to a nice ovation as he came off the field at Yankee Stadium for a pinch-runner after walking in the fourth inning of Boston's 5-1 loss, Papi said he enjoyed every moment of it.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moncada starts preparing for AFL action

Moncada starts preparing for AFL action

NEW YORK -- Red Sox top prospect Yoan Moncada flew to Fort Myers, Fla., on Thursday to prepare for the Arizona Fall League.

Moncada was in the Red Sox's clubhouse Wednesday night to celebrate their American League East title. After striking out in nine consecutive at-bats, the 21-year-old did not receive another plate appearance since his last on Sept. 12 against Baltimore.

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Deesha Thosar is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kimbrel shakes off rough outing vs. Yanks

Kimbrel shakes off rough outing vs. Yanks

NEW YORK -- Lost amid the zany way the Red Sox's American League East clinch came together on Wednesday night was the fact that closer Craig Kimbrel had one of the toughest outings of his career.

Fortunately, the right-hander chalked it up to simply an off-night and felt no ill effects from his surgically-repaired left knee.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ortiz's final season was (maybe) best ever

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Ortiz's final season was (maybe) best ever

When David Ortiz announced he'd retire after the 2016 season, we asked a simple question: Could Ortiz, who mashed 37 home runs in 2015 and finished with no indication of a decline, put in the best final season by a hitter in the last 50 years?

The short answer:

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MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

10 reasons Red Sox are back in postseason

From Big Papi and Hanley to Dombrowski and Farrell, many contributed to success

10 reasons Red Sox are back in postseason

The Boston Red Sox were widely favored to win the American League East in 2016, so this latest division championship isn't exactly a stunner. Besides, what is that they say about the joy being in the journey?

Once the Red Sox got rolling, they were close to unstoppable. In the past six weeks, they've had the best record (31-14), best offense (5.8 runs per game) and best bullpen (2.64 ERA) in the Majors.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sox win 3rd AL East title in 10 seasons

After two straight last-place finishes, club back on top

Sox win 3rd AL East title in 10 seasons

NEW YORK -- The joy was in all corners of the visitors' clubhouse on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium, and it had everything to do with the journeys -- both individual and collective.

The Red Sox were American League East champions after two consecutive last-place finishes.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

For first time since '04, Sox party in Bronx

For first time since '04, Sox party in Bronx

NEW YORK -- The backdrop was surreal.

A hollow Yankee Stadium with clusters of Boston fans in attendance chanting, "Let's go Red Sox," in a place Boston never felt welcome. Mark Teixeira's walk-off grand slam for a 5-3 Yankees win on Wednesday shocked the Red Sox as they slowly trotted off the field and into the dugout.

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Deesha Thosar is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After rallying in 8th, Sox suffer walk-off loss

After rallying in 8th, Sox suffer walk-off loss

NEW YORK -- Mark Teixeira was the one mobbed by his teammates at home plate, hitting a walk-off grand slam off Joe Kelly in the ninth inning to lift the Yankees to a 5-3 victory, but the Red Sox still celebrated their clinching of the American League East title on Wednesday evening at Yankee Stadium.

Red Sox win 3rd AL East title in 10 seasons

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Farrell aiming high in inspiring journey

From battling cancer to leading Red Sox to AL East title, manager says there's still work to do

Farrell aiming high in inspiring journey

NEW YORK -- The long journey for Red Sox manager John Farrell from cancer recovery to another World Series championship is only partially complete, he said on Wednesday night as his club locked up the American League East title.

Boston knew midway through the bottom of the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium that the Blue Jays had lost to the Orioles. And even though the Yankees came back from a three-run deficit to win, 5-3, on the strength of a Mark Teixeira grand slam, the Red Sox had already cemented their spot in an AL Division Series.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Papi dons disguise, poses as driver

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Papi dons disguise, poses as driver

Would you recognize your favorite baseball player if you were sitting right next to him and talking with him? Of course you would, right?

But what if he was wearing a hilarious wig and went by the fake name of "Donny"? A few lucky Bostonians had the opportunity to test their perceptiveness when their Lyft driver was a guy named "Donny" who looked suspiciously like another Bostonian named David Ortiz. Check it out for yourself:

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Pomeranz to test sore arm on Thursday

Pomeranz to test sore arm on Thursday

NEW YORK -- The Red Sox will get a better read on Drew Pomeranz's availability for the rest of the season when he throws a bullpen session prior to Thursday's game at Yankee Stadium.

The left-hander, who has shown signs of fatigue down the stretch, was scratched from starting Thursday's game. At this point, he is being looked at only as a reliever for the rest of 2016.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Williams' boldness in final weekend of '41 paid off

Williams' boldness in final weekend of '41 paid off

Seventy-five years ago, Ted Williams entered the final weekend of the 1941 regular season hitting .401.

It had already been a fine season for The Splendid Splinter. Beyond his average, he led the Majors in home runs with 37, as well as on-base percentage, slugging percentage and runs scored.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Celebrate Ortiz with 10 of his best quotes

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Celebrate Ortiz with 10 of his best quotes

When David Ortiz retires at the end of the year, he will leave a giant chasm in the heart of the Red Sox's lineup, in each and every baseball fan's heart and, yes, in every postgame article. That's because Ortiz isn't just a fearsome slugger with his own unique style and entire merchandising wing -- he's also a human quote machine. 

So, while we prepare to say goodbye, here are 10 of his greatest quotes. We know there are hundreds more, so be sure to leave your favorite in the comments. 

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