All said, a complete game for the designated hitter-turned-first baseman. And also a pretty impressive Series so far — Ortiz has eight of Boston's 24 hits, and has reached base in 12 of 16 plate appearances against the St. Louis staff.
"I think they're all watching and realizing that he's tough to get out right now," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
At 37, Ortiz is the last Red Sox player left from a historic sweep that ended across the street at the old Busch Stadium exactly nine years ago. He was part of Boston's sweep in 2007 over Colorado.
He also was the only Boston hitter doing any damage for a while.
"I know we were a better team than what we showed," Ortiz said.
His broken-bat single off Lance Lynn's leg was the lone Red Sox hit through four innings. So after he opened the fifth with a drive to right-center, Ortiz shouted to teammates on the bench, waving his arms and urging them on.
"Just loosen up and play baseball the way we normally do," he kept telling his guys.
Moments later, Ortiz lumbered home and scored, tying it at 1 when he was hit by left fielder Matt Holliday's throw to the plate.
Before the sixth, Ortiz had another stroke of brilliance. He called a team meeting on the bench.
"It was meaningful," Red Sox manager John Farrell praised. "Kind of a timely conversation he had with everybody."
Said pitcher John Lackey: "He's a guy who's been here through a lot of stuff. He's got a couple of rings, he knows what to do this time of year."
"His voice definitely carries weight, for sure," he said.
Ortiz did his part at the plate that inning, drawing a two-out walk from Lynn. Gomes followed by greeting reliever Seth Maness with his game-breaking homer for a 4-1 lead.