Wednesday was a get-away day ahead of a week-long West Coast swing, and that meant the eighth-inning trip could have been Ortiz's last chance to hit No. 400 in front of the home fans at Fenway Park. The milestone bomb will be meaningful in Seattle or Oakland, but probably not quite as sweet as if it were at home.
Ortiz didn't pretend he wasn't going for it when he struck out swinging -- hard -- against Blue Jays left-hander Luis Perez.
"Why not?" Ortiz said when asked if he was going for it, before winking, "I'll get it done when I get back."
Said teammate Dustin Pedroia: "Oh yeah, yeah. He was definitely trying to go to the moon. He took some pretty hard swings. Yeah, man, but it's coming obviously. Might be tomorrow."
Ortiz, who could end up with a career year if he keeps it up, wasn't in a reflective state of mind.
"Right now, that's something I don't really think about," said Ortiz, who went deep five times on the homestand. "I know at some point, when I'm not playing, you start realizing how good a career you probably had. Right now, my focus is just on contributions for this ballclub, trying to win some games and put ourselves in a better situation."
The Red Sox are winning, to the tune of nine of their last 11 games, and with his help. Ortiz's 21st homer of the season came in the fifth inning Wednesday off Toronto right-hander Jesse Chavez, and put him into a tie for 49th on MLB's all-time list with Al Kaline and Andres Galarraga. He's hitting .347 (14-for-49) with four doubles and eight homers and 16 RBIs in his last 15 games since June 10.
"No secret," Ortiz said. "Just see the ball and hit it, man. Keep it simple."