Sore shoulder can't stop Ortiz; Slugger ready to swing after BP.
COLUMN: RED SOX NOTES
BALTIMORE - David Ortiz used to hit shots. Now, he's getting them.
Last night, the Red Sox designated hitter returned to the Boston lineup, and the No. 3 spot in the batting order, two days after getting a cortisone shot in Anaheim to mask the pain in his sore left shoulder.
Ortiz got to Camden Yards early yesterday afternoon for batting practice and said his tender shoulder felt better. Manager Terry Francona had figured on giving Ortiz another day off, but was glad to hear the slugger say he could play.
"If we need to manage (the injury), we will," Francona said. "You get beat up over the course of a season, but this is one of the things that makes him so good."
Ortiz is resigned to having to play through the end of the season in some kind of discomfort. "It doesn't get better until you shut things down for a period of time," he said, and Ortiz doesn't plan to shut things down until the season is over.
He has stopped lifting weights and will have to come up with another way to maintain his strength. What that is, he isn't sure yet. "That's why we've got (strength coach David) Page. He'll tell me what to do."
Last night, Ortiz was 1 for 4 with two RBIs. He drove in both runs with a ground single to right in the eighth.
Julio Lugo dropped down a perfect squeeze bunt in the eighth to drive in Coco Crisp with the run that gave Boston a 2-1 lead.
"That was pretty baseball right there," Francona said. "The defense gave it to him, but what he did was phenomenal."
Lugo was 2 for 5 and has raised his average to .230. That's the first time it has been that high since May 29, when it was also .230.
Farmhands at Fenway
The second annual Futures at Fenway doubleheader is scheduled for today starting at 12:05 p.m. In the first game, Boston's New York-Penn League affiliate, the Lowell Spinners, will play the Hudson Valley Renegades. After that game, Double-A Portland will play the Harrisburg Senators. Hudson Valley is a Devil Rays affiliate, while Harrisburg is the Nationals' club in the Eastern League.
Moss returns to R.I.
Eric Hinske rejoined the team after a brief stay on the bereavement list. Hinske's replacement for that time, rookie outfielder Brandon Moss, has rejoined Pawtucket.
"It was kind of what we expected," Francona said of Moss' brief stay in the majors. "He's developing a reputation as a good young hitter. He has a good arm and moves after the ball real well. Some things were happening for him, but he's got a chance to be a pretty good player.
"His at-bats this week were pretty solid, and we faced some pretty good pitching."
Strong on road
Josh Beckett, who is 14-5 and still a Cy Young Award candidate, goes after his 15th win at 3:55 this afternoon. While Beckett is a Cy Young hopeful, he has been pretty average in his last 10 starts, going just 5-5 with a 3.78 ERA.
Beckett has been excellent on the road, though. He is 7-1, 1.59 away from Fenway this season. Against the Orioles in 2007, Beckett is 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA in three starts.
Baltimore will counter with rookie lefty Garrett Olson, who will be called up from the minors to make the start. Olson is 1-0 in two previous big-league starts, both against the White Sox.
At home in Maryland
Francona said the number of Red Sox fans in town for this series is probably the most he has ever seen.
The Boston manager took a walk around the Inner Harbor area here and was besieged by fans, most wanting autographs, some offering advice. Francona said he finally ducked into a pharmacy to try to get a breather from all the attention, but fans followed him right into the store.
Most of those people followed him to the ballpark, too. The crowd was 48,993, a sellout and the biggest crowd of the season here.
The Orioles began the seventh-inning stretch with a recording of "Sweet Caroline," then quickly shut it off and went to their traditional "Thank God I'm a Country Boy." ... Jason Varitek singled in the eighth to snap an 0-for-15 skid. ... Mike Lowell's hit streak ended at eight games. ... Dustin Pedroia had two hits and is batting .328. His average is the highest it has been since June 5, when it was .329.
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|Publication:||Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)|
|Date:||Aug 11, 2007|
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