Big Papi wins Home Run Derby

American League All-Star David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox poses with the trophy after winning...

American League All-Star David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox poses with the trophy after winning Major League Baseball's Home Run Derby. (REUTERS/Alex Gallardo)

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:40 PM ET

ANAHEIM — Reports of the death of David Ortiz’s bat speed were premature.

Ortiz beat Henley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins 11-5 in the final to win the 26th annual State Farm Home Run Derby

When the Boston Red Sox visited the Rogers Centre in April, manager Terry Francona pinch hit Mike Lowell for Ortiz, who was hitting .154 with one homer and four RBIs.

Since then, Big Papi has hit .291 with 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 59 games.

In all Ortiz hit 32 home runs averaging 416 feet, with his longest, a 476-foot blast to right.

It was Ortiz’s fourth derby but only his first win, hitting 20, 13 and three homers in his first three competitions.

Blue Jays centre fielder Vernon Wells was knocked out in the first round managing two homers, one 361 feet, the other 428 feet.

The plan was for catcher John Buck to throw to Wells during the derby.

“He threw to me in the cage last week, his fastballs were pretty firm,” Wells said Monday afternoon. “We’ll see what happens when we get to the park ... maybe the Yankees have some good batting practice pitchers on their staff.”

When the time came Buck was not on the mound, but Ike Ashland was. Ashland didn’t work for the Yankees or the Angels.

“I’m not worried about messing up my swing like some of those other guys (Bobby Abreu, Alex Rios), I’m a line drive hitter,” said Wells, who appeared to have difficulty picking up the ball in the late southern California shadows.

Also eliminated after the first round were Matt Holliday of the Cards (five homers), Nick Swisher of the Yanks (four) and Chris Young of the Arizona Diamondbacks (one).

Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers and Milwaukee’s Corey Hart were eliminated in the semi-finals. Hart hit 13 to win the first round and none in the second, while Cabrera hit seven in the first and five in the second.


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