ST. LOUIS (AP) — David Ortiz could sense this World Series was starting to slip away, that his rowdy bunch of Boston Red Sox were just too quiet, too tense.
Someone needed to make some noise, and soon.
Who else but Big Papi?
So Ortiz called his teammates together for a huddle before the sixth inning in Game 4, delivering a serious pep talk right there in the dugout.
"It was like 24 kindergartners looking up at their teacher. He got everyone's attention and we looked him right in the eyes," said Jonny Gomes, who responded with a three-run homer Sunday night to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2. "That message was pretty powerful."
"Just gave us a little kick in the butt that we needed," he said.
Ortiz revved up the Red Sox with his bat and bark, helping Boston tie the Series at 2-all.
"I'm the veteran dude on this team, that's why I have to say something," he said. "I sensed everyone was feeling down, frustrated, like a sinking boat."
"I told them, 'Don't do anything more than you're capable, don't force things out.' I mean, if you're a David Ross, don't try to do things as if you're David Ortiz," he said.
Ortiz got three more hits, boosting his stock as an October star. He hollered at his teammates from second base after a double in the fifth, then gathered them the next inning.
"Sometimes you get to this stage and you try to overdo things," he said. "And it doesn't work that way."
"I kept telling my boys ... this is the World Series, this is the World Series. You don't get to this level every day," he said.
Ortiz hustled home to score a run and even provided a bit of comic relief.