David Ortiz entered Tuesday's contest against the Mariners needing four hits to tie Harold Baines' record for career hits as a designated hitter. Thanks to Boston scoring 11 runs, Ortiz got enough opportunities to notch all four in a single evening, giving him 1,688 career hits as a DH, and leaving him one short of sitting alone atop the record books.
Ortiz has 1,951 career hits in total, but thanks to 253 games at first base and 107 plate appearances as a pinch-hitter, they aren't all as a DH. Baines is in a more severe version of this scenario, as 1,178 of his career base knocks came at positions in the field. So, the fact Ortiz has played such a significant chunk of his career at the DH spot means he has a much higher percentage of career hits at the position. With the rest of this year and at least one more left to him under his current contract, he has some time to put plenty of space between himself and Baines, too.
Ortiz had already hit a homer earlier in the night, so while it might seem odd for him to just poke a single through the hole at second for a record-tying hit, we can't necessarily be greedy about it. Here's the hit off of Mariners' lefty reliever Charlie Furbush:
Update 9:09 am: It's possible there is a mistake here by someone, as Retrosheet and Baseball Reference both list Harold Baines with 1,690 career hits as a designated hitter. If we figure out where the discrepancy is coming from, we'll update further. Hat tip to @HighHeatStats for pointing this out.
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