Baines praises Ortiz after achievement

David Ortiz passed Harold Baines on the all-time hit list for designated hitters. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

DETROIT -- Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz overtook Harold Baines as the all-time leader in hits by a designated hitter on Wednesday night.

Ortiz, 37, has 1,689 hits now.

"It's very well deserving," Baines said Thursday at Comerica Park prior to Chicago's game against the Detroit Tigers.

Baines, who is in his 10th season on the White Sox coaching staff and his first as assistant hitting coach, ended his career with 1,688 hits.

Ortiz tied the record on Tuesday going 4-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, one RBI, three runs and a stolen base.

"He's had a great career," Baines said.

Ortiz, who's fourth in the league with a .331 batting average, missed most of the second half of last season with an Achilles strain in his right foot. He also missed the first 15 games the season due to inflammation in both feet.

What impresses Baines the most is how Ortiz uses all parts of the ballpark to get hits.

"I'm most impressed how he uses the whole field," Baines said. "He's a power hitter, but he takes his singles and knocks in a lot of runs. He's a complete hitter. He's a DH, but uses the whole field."

Baines played 22 seasons and still sees the designated hitter as a very important part of the game.

"A lot of guys unfortunately get hurt, but their career can be extended by having the DH around," Baines said. "It's extended my career. I had 11 more years because of the DH."