By the time David Ortiz got to the clubhouse, Boston Red Sox owner John Henry was waiting with a plaque commemorating Big Papi's contributions to the team's long-awaited success.
"David Ortiz — 34 — The greatest clutch hitter in the history of the Boston Red Sox."
As if anyone in Boston — or Los Angeles — could forget.
Ortiz hit a tie-breaking homer in the bottom of the ninth on Tuesday night to send the Red Sox to a 3-2 victory over the Angels, the team he knocked out of the playoffs last fall en route to Boston's first World Series title in 86 years.
"For a minute," Ortiz said, "it gave me a flashback for what happened last year."
The genial slugger batted .545 in the first-round playoff series last year and homered with two outs in the 10th inning of Game 3 to complete the sweep. He had two more game-ending hits in the AL championship series against the New York Yankees. He has seven walk-off homers in his career.
"It's incredible how he does things the way he does them," said Tim Wakefield, who gave Boston its second complete game in three days. "He's Mr. Clutch. He proved that last postseason. He did it again tonight for us."
Boston led 2-0 before the Angels tied it with runs in the sixth and seventh. Both teams squandered chances to take the lead, but it was still tied when Scot Shields (8-11) struck out Edgar Renteria to start the ninth.
Ortiz, who struck out with runners on second and third and no outs in the seventh, took three straight balls and fouled off two pitches before hitting one halfway up the grandstand in right. It was his 38th homer of the year and his league-leading 120th RBI.
"You never get tired of it," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "We've seen it so many times. I hope we see it a bunch more."
DEVIL RAYS 4, YANKEES 3: At New York, second baseman Robinson Cano's error in the ninth inning allowed the go-ahead run to score, and the Tampa Bay Devils Rays won the season series against the Yankees for the first time. The Devil Rays are 10-4 against the Yankees in 2005 after beginning the season 31-80 against New York since entering the majors in 1998. Jonny Gomes had two hits, scored a run and made a pair of strong throws in the sixth inning, helping keep the Devil Rays' deficit to a run.
INDIANS 6, TIGERS 1: At Detroit, Cliff Lee allowed four hits over eight shutout innings, and Grady Sizemore,Coco Crisp and Aaron Boone homered for Cleveland. Crisp had three hits and stole a base. Detroit scored in the ninth, its first run in 27 innings, to avoid its third straight shutout, but took its sixth straight loss.
RANGERS 10, TWINS 7: At Minneapolis, Mark Teixiera's three-run homer in the ninth inning made him just the fifth player in major league history to hit 100 in his first three seasons. Teixiera's 433-foot blast off Twins closer Joe Nathan allowed him to join Joe DiMaggio, Ralph Kiner, Eddie Mathews and Albert Pujols on the elite list.
WHITE SOX 6, ROYALS 5: At Chicago, Paul Konerko homered for the third straight game and Juan Uribe hit one for the second day in a row to lead the Chicago White Sox to their sixth consecutive victory. The White Sox stayed perfect in September, moving to 86-51 overall, the best record in the American League.
ORIOLES 5, BLUE JAYS 0: At Baltimore, Daniel Cabrera came off the disabled list to throw seven innings of four-hit ball, and Javy Lopez drove in three runs to lead the Orioles. Cabrera (9-11) had not pitched since Aug. 12 because of a strained back.
MARINERS 3, ATHLETICS 2: At Oakland, Calif., Mike Morse hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh and Seattle's Joel Pineiro pitched eight innings. The Mariners tied the game at 2 on Jose Lopez's RBI single to center in the seventh, then Morse followed with a sharp single down the left-field line for the go-ahead run.