Ortiz powers into history; DH enters Sox' 40 HR club.


Byline: Bill Ballou COLUMN: RED SOX NOTES BOSTON - David Ortiz continues his excursion into Red Sox batting history. His two-run homer in the seventh last night was his 40th of the season, making him only the fourth Red Sox left-handed batter to hit that many, and just the 10th Boston hitter overall. Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski and Mo Vaughn are the lefties who preceded Ortiz. Manny Ramirez has hit 41 homers, and he and Ortiz are only the second set of Red Sox teammates to have 40 or more in the same season. Yastrzemski and Rico Petrocelli had 40 each in 1969. Williams (43) and Vern Stephens (39) have the most in one season by Boston teammates. The right-handed batters with 40 or more are Petrocelli, Jim Rice, Jimmie Foxx, Tony Armas, Dick Stuart and Ramirez. Ortiz' homers have not just been prolific. They have been timely, too. Of those 40 home runs, 21 have either tied the score or put Boston ahead, as last night's did. Whiff of record Mark Bellhorn went 0 for 5 last night and struck out three times, setting a franchise record for most strikeouts in a season. Bellhorn has fanned 164 times. The previous mark of 162 was set in 1977 by third baseman Butch Hobson. Bellhorn projects to finish the year with 178 strikeouts, well short of the major-league record of 189, set by Bobby Bonds in 1970. The American League record is 186, set in 1987 by Milwaukee's Rob Deer, who later played for the Red Sox. Had Bellhorn not missed 16 games with a broken thumb, he would have had a strong chance at breaking the major-league record. Those 16 games missed probably cost him 20 strikeouts. "I hope it doesn't get a lot of attention," manager Terry Francona said of the record, probably understanding that just the opposite will happen. Asked if it would behoove Bellhorn to try and strike out less, Francona added, "If he struck out less, but walked less, I'm not sure you'd have a better player." Bellhorn's 82 walks are fifth-most in the American League and if not for his injury, he may have led the league in both strikeouts and walks. Comparing Bellhorn's season this year with Hobson's in 1977: Hobson walked just 27 times. He batted .265, while Bellhorn is hitting .259. Hobson hit 30 homers, scored 77 runs and drove in 112. Bellhorn has 17 homers, 86 runs scored and 80 RBIs. Back in time Orlando Cabrera was back right on time after traveling to his native Colombia to be with his wife, who had surgery of an undisclosed nature. Cabrera called...

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