BOSTON -- The big numbers are atop the Green Monster for everyone to see. It was only fitting that David Ortiz's homer sliced toward a milestone that many are coming to see in a lost season for the Boston Red Sox.
"It's exciting," Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo said. "When we walk in every day, it's bigger than a lot of things that are happening right now. It would be fun if he gets that 500."
Ortiz lined a shot into the first row of Green Monster seats off Ivan Nova (5-7). It landed about 10-15 feet to the right of three new changeable white numbers on signs with red trim that were affixed to the stanchion of a light tower, signifying his countdown to 500.
Mookie Betts hit a two-run homer for the Red Sox. It was their ninth win in 13 games.
But it was Ortiz's homer that's getting the attention for the Red Sox, last in the AL East.
"It's amazing," Bradley said. "It's a great accomplishment. He's getting close."
Ortiz wasn't around after the game to talk about his chase.
"He's downplaying it,' Lovullo said. "David, in his humble way, doesn't want to make it a distraction. He wants it be about the team."
Didi Gregorius had four singles for New York, which had scored 20 runs on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep over Atlanta. He flied out to the warning track with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the ninth.
"You know things happen," he said. "We fell a little short today with runners in scoring position. But tomorrow's a new day, so we'll pick it up tomorrow."
The Yankees remained 1 1/2 games behind AL East-leading Toronto, which lost 4-2 to Cleveland on Monday. New York stranded 14 runners.
"Yeah, we missed an opportunity," manager Joe Giradi said. "But it's really going to come down to how we play, too. Like I said, we had a lot of opportunities tonight. Tonight we didn't get the big hit."
In his at-bat after the homer, Ortiz had the crowd on its feet again when he lined a 3-0 fastball halfway up the wall in left for a double.
Betts' homer made it 2-1.
New York loaded the bases three times in the first five innings against Rodriguez, who escaped with Bradley's help in the fourth and struck out Greg Bird to end the fifth.
Bradley nailed Bird at the plate with a one-hop throw from left field after Gregorius' single.
Yankees: 1B Mark Teixeira was sent back to New York to have his bruised right shin re-examined. "We're going to run some tests," Girardi said. "I think they'll do some type of imaging to take a look at it."
Red Sox: LF Hanley Ramirez was sidelined for the fourth straight game with a sore right shoulder, but did take grounders again at first as he attempts a position shift. . Luvollo said 2B Dustin Pedroia (strained right hamstring) could return around Sept. 10.
Ortiz has three homers in his last four games. He's hit 14 since the All-Star break.
Nova gave up three runs in six innings. In his last start, he was tagged for a season-high seven in four.
The Red Sox went 15-12 in August, only their second winning month this season. They went 12-10 in April.
Yankees: RHP Michael Pineda (9-8) is scheduled to make his second start Tuesday since returning from a stint on the DL with a strained right forearm.
Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (6-11) looks for another solid outing in his second start since a stretch on the DL with a strained right triceps. He threw seven shutout innings Wednesday at the White Sox.
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