Former Red Sox star Ortiz shot in Dominican Republic

Former MLB player David Ortiz waves before the home opener between the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park on April 09, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (AFP pic/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES: Three time World Series champion David Ortiz was shot and wounded late Sunday at an amusement centre in his native Dominican Republic, media reported.

Ortiz was shot in the back by a motorcyclist and “the bullet went through his stomach,” Dominican National Police spokesman Felix Duran Mejia told CNN.

Ortiz, 43 was taken to a hospital in nearby Santo Domingo where he underwent surgery.

Ortiz’s father Leo Ortiz told local reporters the former Boston Red Sox star was out of surgery and stable, US sports broadcaster ESPN said.

“David’s family has confirmed that he sustained a gunshot wound to the lower back/abdominal region,” the Red Sox said in a statement on Twitter.

“David is being treated at Clinica Abel Gonzalez in Santo Domingo where he is recovering after surgery.”

Two other people were wounded in the shooting, including Dominican TV host Jhoel Lopez who was with Ortiz, ESPN reported, quoting the Dominican National Police director.

It was not known who was the intended target.

Fellow former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez was among the baseball players sending get well messages to Ortiz.

“I’m at peace knowing you out of danger; you a strong man Compai, can’t wait to hear your voice,” Martinez said on Twitter.

“Get well soon Big Papi. I’m praying for you,” New York Yankees pitcher Nestor Cortes Jr. tweeted.

Ortiz, who was born in Santo Domingo, made 10 All-Star appearances in his 20-year Major League Baseball career. He retired three years ago.

The former designated hitter hit 541 home runs with 1,768 RBIs in 2,408 games in the majors.

Ortiz began his career by playing six seasons for the Minnesota Twins (1997-2002), but his career took off after he joined the Red Sox.

He helped Boston capture their first World Series title in 86 years in 2004, when he was the MVP of the American League Championship Series.

He also helped the Red Sox win championships in 2007 and 2013.