"Somebody's got to talk to Minnesota and find out where they get all their pitching," said Ortiz, who raved as much about Santana's protege, rookie Francisco Liriano, as he did the 2004 Cy Young Award winner after Santana and the Twins beat Boston 5-2 in 12 innings Tuesday night.
Ortiz spent three years as Santana's teammate with the Twins, watching the left-hander's rise from an extended apprenticeship in the Twins' bullpen to become one of the elite starters in the game.
Then this spring, he spent two weeks as Liriano's teammate with the Dominican Republic team in the World Baseball Classic and sounded even more impressed.
"Check it out," he said turning to a few Boston writers to give the scouting report on Liriano that those in Minnesota know first-hand. "He threw a 98-mile-per-hour fastball. He threw a 92-mile-per-hour slider. And he threw a changeup 80 miles per hour."
He added something unprintable and then paused to give somebody besides the Red Sox a chance to shake their heads at the Twins' pitching riches.
"In the WBC, he looked like Randy Johnson four years back."
So what does that make Santana?
"Santana and Liriano, you don't want to see them in the first two games of a series," Ortiz said. "If you see they're going the first day days, you start thinking about the last game."
Johan Santana didn't get a decision, but he dominated in an eight-inning start in which he recorded a season-high-tying 13 strikeouts and allowed just one run on a solo home run in the top of the seventh by Boston's Jason Varitek.
BY THE NUMBERS: 6 Home runs allowed by rookie Boof Bonser in his third and fourth starts (12 innings), after allowing one in his first two since being recalled from the minors.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We're like family. Your brother makes a mistake and what happens? You're upset with him for a minute and at the same time you forgive him. That's what it's like in here. We all make mistakes all the time." -- CF Torii Hunter, on patching the relationship in the clubhouse between RHP Kyle Lohse and teammates who were angered by comments Lohse made after coming off the mound in his most recent start for the team.