Papi wanted to bat leadoff in Monday's game against the Seattle Mariners.
What would normally seem like an outlandish proposal, it came on a night Ortiz was riding high after legging out a triple to center field in the fifth inning, his first of the season. That surprising three-bagger helped the Red Sox to a three-run fifth and a 5-0 win vs. the Blue Jays.
"Papi came out with that hit and was picking them up and putting them down," Bill Hall said. "When Papi legs out a triple, it makes the rest of us want to do something after that."
Ortiz's last triple came April 20, 2009, in Baltimore. He joins just Johnny Damon and Carlos Guillen as the only American League batters to record at least one triple in each of the last 11 seasons.
"When he smells it, he runs a lot harder," Mike Lowell said. "Maybe if we put some chicken nuggets underneath there, he will run hard all the time."
Ortiz said that as he rounded second, he had no doubt that he would go for the triple, because, in his words, he is a "speed killer."
As the entire Boston dugout cheered Ortiz on, he said he didn't feel winded as he got to third base.
"I got it," Ortiz said. "I have been watching guys run a long time."
The designated hitter wound up going 2-for-4 with a triple, a run scored and an RBI. Ortiz has now hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games (.321) and 26 of his last 29 games (.308) dating back to July 22.
"He was picking up those legs and moving pretty good," manager Terry Francona said. "We needed it, because we had done absolutely nothing up to that point.
"Those big legs were moving. He wasn't stopping. He's a good baserunner."
Quinn Roberts is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.