Ortiz continues making progress against Oakland

Ortiz continues making progress against Oakland
April 24, 2013, 11:15 pm
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BOSTON – With one out in the fifth, David Ortiz launched a ball high off the wall in left field. The Red Sox slugger lumbered around first base, sliding into second ahead of the tag.

He would come around to score on Mike Napoli’s double, the first run of the game for the Sox in their three-run inning on the way to a 6-5 win over the A’s. His run around the bases was another test for the right Achilles and ailing heels that sidelined him through spring training until he was activated on Saturday.

In four games, Ortiz is batting .500, going 8-for-16, with three doubles, three runs scored, three RBI, a walk and three strikeouts, for an on-base percentage of .529 and a slugging percentage of .688.

“When you consider eight months down and he’s come out of it with however many at-bats he has right – maybe 15 or so and number of hits he compiled – it’s impressive,” said manager John Farrell. “He has such good plate coverage against lefties. He hits a breaking ball that he allows to go deep for an RBI single through 5-6 hole. He’s amazing to watch. He’s running the bases well. There are no issues.

“The intensity in which he’s run with. He’s really given us a lift in the middle of the order. He’s doubled twice and relatively close place he has no restrictions mentally on running aggressively. Reads the play well, bang-bang play again today. He’s not playing with anything in the back of his mind that’s restricting him physically.”

Against the A’s on Wednesday afternoon, Ortiz went 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI, extending his hitting streak to 16 games going back to July 2, 2012. It is his longest hitting streak in a Red Sox uniform, and the second-longest of his career, after a 19-gamer in 2002 with the Twins.

But, Ortiz insists he’s not where he wants to be.

“I’m not really concerned about getting injured again but there’s still some concern because I’m not 100 percent yet,” he said.

“I work, man, I work. I know what I need to do to stay there. Right now I know I’m not where I’d like to be so I’m not trying to juice the ball. I just try to take what they give me and you see the way they pitch me. So I got to be patient.”