PAWTUCKET, R.I. – So far, so good.
That’s Pawtucket Red Sox manager Gary DiSarcina’s opinion of David Ortiz after the slugger played his second rehab game Saturday, against the Rochester Red Wings.
“I thought David was outstanding,” DiSarcina said. “He swung the bat really well and came out of it once again pretty healthy. I think he has normal soreness from playing.
“He ran the bases a little bit and progressed.”
Pawtucket had a doubleheader Saturday but Ortiz played only the first game, which was a makeup of Friday night’s rainout. Ortiz went 1 for 4 with a run and two RBIs as Pawtucket prevailed, 7-1. He left McCoy Stadium without addressing the media.
Ortiz will continue his rehab assignment Sunday when Pawtucket hosts Rochester.
“He knows his body better than anyone,” DiSarcina said. “He’s rehabbed before. He knows how many at-bats he needs to be able to get out of here and be with his teammates in Boston.
“It’s cold out there. He had three at-bats [Thursday night] and ran around the bases. Ultimately it’s his call regarding what he wants to do.”
Ortiz last played for the Red Sox Aug. 24, a one-game attempt to return from an Achilles’ injury. He didn’t play in any spring training games.
“We’re happy to have him here, but ultimately the best thing to do is get him out of here,” DiSarcina said. “As far as I know, he hasn’t come up with any issues and is progressing.
“David is a special case. He communicates with [Red Sox manager] John [Farrell] and I talked with John about it this morning. Without a doubt my job as a manager is to ask David how he’s doing and how many more at-bats he wants, especially on cold days.”
Ortiz, who batted third and served as the DH Saturday, faced righthander Shairon Martis in the first inning and lined a 1-and-2 pitch to first.
With nobody on and one out in the third, Martis fanned Ortiz on a 1-and-2 fastball.
Ortiz faced lefthander Tyler Robertson in the fourth and hit a soft liner to second.
Ortiz’s final at-bat, in the sixth, proved to be a base-running adventure.
After Jose Iglesias drew a bases-loaded walk with nobody out, lefthander Caleb Thielbar was called on to face Ortiz, who ripped a 2-and-0 pitch to right field for a two-run single.
Ryan Lavarnway followed with a sacrifice fly to deep center. Clete Thomas threw to second baseman Brian Dinkelman, and Ortiz slid back into first to avoid being doubled up. However, Dinkelman’s throw to first was wide and Ortiz took second.
Eventually, Ortiz jogged home from second on Drew Sutton’s two-out double and almost was passed by Brandon Snyder.
“He’s got to slide before he gets back up to the big leagues,” DiSarcina said of Ortiz. “It’s good to see him sliding and get that stuff out of the way.
“It may sound silly, but sliding’s a fundamental. For David to go out and run around a little bit and slide and come out healthy is outstanding. That’s all part of him getting ready.”