But his offensive prowess went for naught.
Ortiz clubbed his 22nd homer of the season when he belted his ninth career grand slam in the bottom of the ninth to cut Boston’s deficit to 6-5.
"It was a pretty-looking swing,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "Would have been nicer if that was a five-run homer."
Later that inning, the Sox’s Adrian Beltre provided a two-out double, and after an intentional walk to pinch-hitter J.D. Drew, Mike Cameron struck out looking on a splitter by Tigers reliever Jose Valverde to end the game.
Ortiz becomes the first Red Sox player since Carl Yastrzemski (May 18, 1969) to hit a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth that resulted in a loss.
“Obviously, you’re trying to score some runs and it wasn’t coming the way we wanted, so that [grand slam] happened and then [Valverde] threw some good pitches afterwards,” Ortiz said.
After a four-pitch walk to Kevin Youkilis to load the bases, Ortiz swung at the first offering from Valverde.
“I’m thinking about going deep,” Ortiz said. “That’s what I do.”
It was his first grand slam since April 18, 2008 against Texas. It was also his eighth as a member of the Red Sox, moving him into a tie with Bobby Doerr, Jim Rice and Trot Nixon for third-most in club history. Only Ted Williams (17) and Rico Petrocelli (9) have more.