Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/22/12

The Boston Red Sox are following David Ortiz's lead -- on the field and off.

Two weeks ago, Ortiz called the team meeting that has precipitated nine wins in 11 games and a return to .500. Monday night, he kick-started one of the most satisfying victories of the season with a titanic home run onto Eutaw Street that helped the Red Sox overcome a 5-2 deficit in an 8-6 victory over the first-place Baltimore Orioles.

"Somebody gotta start it, right?" Ortiz said.

It's been an impactful couple of weeks for the slugger, who called a team meeting May 11 after the Indians rocked the Red Sox in Josh Beckett's first start following his ill-fated golf outing.

"The gist of it was telling everyone to do what they know how to do and stop trying to make up a seven-game deficit with one swing, one pitch," said right-hander Daniel bard. "That over-effort, because everyone wants it so bad, it's counterproductive. The message that really came out was there are too many good players in that room to not have a good team. Take a step back, do what we're capable of doing."

They've been rolling ever since. They improved to 21-21 Monday night, a half game behind the Yankees as they attempt to leave last place for the first time this season.

Many now trace the turnaround to what Ortiz said May 11.

"You get ideas from the coaches every day and you listen to them," Ortiz said. "But sometimes as a player, you need to get help from your teammates."

Ortiz estimates he has called just three meetings in his Red Sox career, so it's not something he does lightly. He wouldn't even technically own up to calling this one.

"It's not about disagreements," he said. "When it comes down to disagreements, that's when you have meetings with the coaches. Between us, it's not disagreements. It's honesty. 'I think you should do this, I should do that,' that kind of stuff, to get our (expletive) together."

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