BOSTON -- When David Ortiz smashed a solo homer to center in the bottom of the eighth inning on Thursday night to pass Mickey Mantle with career homer No. 537, it seemed like it would be a nice milestone moment in a tough loss to the Yankees.
Instead, it was the hit manager John Farrell and many teammates credited with turning the night around and leading to the dramatics that would follow in a wild, 7-5 win at Fenway Park.
Ortiz's drive, a lined shot to center off Adam Warren, was his 53rd career home run against the Yankees and was crushed in Mantle-esque fashion.
Projected at 442 feet by Statcast™, with an exit velocity of 109 mph, the homer is tied for Ortiz's longest of the season. He also swatted homers projected at that distance on July 19 against the Giants and on Aug. 15 against the Indians.
"I'm not really focused on any of that, any of those personal numbers," said Ortiz, when asked about passing Mantle. "We need to win right now. We need to do whatever it takes to win. The race right now is very close. You look at the standings right there on TV -- every win matters right now. It's great to be part of the history and stuff, but right now, I'm not focusing on that. I'm focusing on winning."