David Ortiz's return to elite-hitter status has helped carry the AL East-leading Red Sox into solid position for a postseason berth for the first time in five seasons.
Ortiz went 0 for 4 in Monday's 3-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers in a matchup of first-place teams.
He's hitting .312 with 24 homers and 85 RBIs, and needs just two hits to become the 39th player in major league history with 2,000 hits, 400 homers and 1,400 RBIs.
''A (heck) of a career,'' he said, smiling. ''Hopefully it remains successful.''
''He's the cornerstone of our offense,'' manager John Farrell said recently.
During Boston's 69-win season in 2012, Ortiz spent all but one of the final 72 games on the disabled list with a right Achilles injury.
Early in the offseason, he signed a two-year, $26-million deal that had many wondering if club's investment was worthwhile for a 37-year old player.
Now, entering the home stretch in his 11th season with the Red Sox, he's still one of the game's most feared hitters.