BOSTON (CBS) – Red Sox DH David Ortiz stepped to the plate for the first time in nearly eight months on Thursday night, a big step in his return from an Achilles injury from last season.
Ortiz played his first rehab game with the Pawtucket Red Sox on Thursday, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored as Boston’s Triple-A affiliate beat the Rochester Red Wings 5-4.
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Following the game, Ortiz said everything was good with the Achilles that’s bothered him nearly a year.
“I feel all right,” Ortiz told ESPNBoston.com’s Joe McDonald after the game. “I felt good running. I got to see some action on the bases and everything was fine.”
Ortiz started the evening off with a strikeout in his first at-bat, but hit a first-pitch single in the third inning and an RBI single in the fifth. He then made it from first to third, showing no signs of the Achilles injury, on a Mark Hamilton double and scored when on a Drew Sutton single to left.
Ortiz had hoped to get five at-bats in his first rehab outing, but the chilly weather convinced him to settle for the three. He said afterwards he felt a little sore, but in a good way.
“I was getting cold out there and I was getting a little sore, a good sore,” he said. “I kind of ran a lot today, so you don’t want to go too crazy about it and that’s why I’m going to play a lot of games here, and I’ll get ready for tomorrow.”
Ortiz is focusing on his timing, something he didn’t get to do during Spring Training. He’ll likely get 30-50 at-bats before making his way back to the majors, with May 1 a potential return date.
With bad weather expected on Friday, it’s unclear when Ortiz will see his next action with Pawtucket.