Ortiz doubled and singled in his first two at-bats of World Series Game 5, a 3-1 Red Sox win, reaching base safely for a Series-record-tying ninth consecutive plate appearance. The slugger joins Yankees second baseman Joe Gordon (1939-41) and Reds outfielder Billy Hatcher (1990) as the only players to reach safely in nine straight World Series trips to the plate, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Ortiz has now reached base safely in all 13 of his World Series games dating back to 2004. When asked if he could remember another five-game run like this, Ortiz laughed and said he "did it like 20 times this year."
"I was born for this," he added.
Ortiz's plate appearances this year have featured a mixture of power, patience and contact. He homered in Games 1 and 2 as the designated hitter last week in Boston, finishing with four hits and a walk in eight plate appearances. Ortiz moved to first base at Busch Stadium with similar results: After grounding out in the second inning of Game 3, he strung together a chain of nine singles, doubles and walks, finally ending it with a flyout to center against Adam Wainwright in the sixth inning of Game 5. Ortiz drove in one run over that streak and scored twice.
It is worth noting that superlative World Series production is nothing new for Ortiz, who entered this October with a .321 average, one home run and six walks in 34 career Fall Classic plate appearances.
Ortiz also has a chance to break the records for batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage in a single series. His fourth-inning single on Monday moved him into sole possession of first place for batting average (.769) and second in OBP (.778), and tied for second in slugging (1.385), though he slipped slightly in all three categories after going 1-for-2 with a single in his final two at-bats. Ortiz now ranks second (.727), second (.750) and fourth (1.364) in those three categories, respectively.
Said manager John Farrell: "He's in a really good place, obviously."