Ortiz feeling better, expects to play Sunday vs. Indians


Ortiz feeling better, expects to play Sunday vs. Indians

BOSTON -- As David Ortiz sat in the Fenway Park dugout following his batting practice session, he started to get more and more excited.

That excitement stemmed from his pain-free achilles. Because usually, after that amount of time following the twisting and turning that comes with swinging a bat, he starts to feel some pain.

But on Tuesday, there was nothing, following an injection into the achilles on Monday.

"It feels better since I got that injection yesterday," said Ortiz before Tuesday night's game against the Texas Rangers. "I actually felt pretty good last night. I feel like I could have played last night. It got me a little excited.

"Today was the first time I kind of could run a little faster than what I've been doing. I still have a little sensation there, but it's improving, it's getting better, and hopefully tomorrow -- after all the work that we did today -- it doesn't feel worse than what it is today. That means I'm improving. It's a good sign."

Ortiz doesn't expect to return to the Red Sox lineup until Sunday in Cleveland. But it's all depending on how he feels each day, following everyday baseball activities.

"It's an injury that takes some time," said Ortiz. "Of course I want to play. And I was expecting to be ready to go in two weeks. But, most of the people that I've talked to, some people gave me the heads up right after I got injured and said, 'Hey, that takes some time to heal up.' But the way I feel today, it's healing fast, compared with what people normally told you about it."

"He says he feels as good now, as he did before he got hurt," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "He's taking a real slow day today, and will have full activity tomorrow."

As for a possible minor-league rehab game before now and Sunday, Valentine smiled when asked and said, "That'll be up to David."

And if it's up to Ortiz, then there won't be any time for rehab games.

"I don't feel like going to rehab," said Ortiz. "It's not like I have plenty of time for it. So I'm just going to try and go out as soon as I feel better.

"I'm trying to come in. In my case, I kind of know what it takes me to come back and go back in form."

Red Sox will re-assess Rodriguez's progress after rehab start


Red Sox will re-assess Rodriguez's progress after rehab start

CHICAGO -- Eduardo Rodriguez's return to the Red Sox rotation is going to take a little while longer.

Rodriguez will make at least one more rehab start for Pawtucket Sunday before the Red Sox re-assess his progress.

There had been some thought that Rodriguez would need only two outings on his rehab assignment. But the decision was made Wednesday to give him at least one more.

Rodriguez had a good outing for Pawtucket Tuesday night, allowing three runs on five hits in six innings of work.

All three runs came in the first inning, after which he showed improvement. "From the second to the sixth innings,'' said Farrell, "they were probably more crisp, more sharp. Looking for that to continue to advance."

Rodriguez, too, said he felt better than he did the first time out, when he allowed three runs in just 3 2/3 innings.

"I feel more control of the ball,'' he said. "I feel more comfortable throwing the ball in the game. Physically, I feel fine. I just see how everything goes every day like bullpens, running and everything. I just want to get back as fast as I can. But I want to get back 100 percent, I don't want to get back at 70 percent and go out there and don't do like I normally do."

Rodriguez, of course, has missed the first month of the season after tweaking his knee at the beginning of spring training.

"The first start I made in Pawtucket,'' recalled Rodriguez, ''I was thinking too much on my knee. Every pitch I'm throwing, I'm thinking like 'Don't push too much,' but (Tuesday) night it was every pitch I'm throwing just thinking of the game and not my knee."

After throwing 84 pitches Tuesday night, the Red Sox want him to get his pitch count over 90 in his next outing.

''I think with each outing he's getting, he's gaining more confidence and feeling more maybe natural and free on the mound," Farrell said.


Tonight's lineups: Red Sox at White Sox


Tonight's lineups: Red Sox at White Sox

The Red Sox face a left-hander -- Carlos Rondon, in this case -- for the second night in a row as they play the middle game of their three-night series in Chicago against the White Sox.

The lineups:

Mookie Betts RF
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Chris Young LF
Travis Shaw 1B
Josh Rutledge 3B
Christian Vazquez C
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Clay Buchholz P

Adam Eaton RF
Jimmy Rollins SS
Jose Abreu 1B
Todd Frazier 3B
Melky Cabrera LF
Brett Lawrie 2B
Jerry Sands DH
Dioner Navarro C
Austin Jackson CF
Carlos Rondon P

Jeter: Sox fans 'softer' and 'treat me better' after winning three titles


Jeter: Sox fans 'softer' and 'treat me better' after winning three titles

There was a time not too long ago when the New York Yankees would fear for their lives when they came into Boston.

Okay, maybe it wasn’t that serious.

But go back to the early 2000s and the rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees was about as heated as could be.

On one side was the Evil Empire: George Steinbrenner, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, Roger Clemens,etc. On the other was the Red Sox: Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek, Manny Ramirez, Curt Schilling, etc.

Those were the days.

Then the Red Sox came back from three games down in the 2004 ALCS, beat the Yankees, and went on to win the World Series. Then they won the World Series again in 2007. And again in 2013.

All that winning changed the narrative around here. The frustration and anger of  years of disappointment was replaced by joy.

Welcome to Friendly Fenway.

Suddenly, players like Jeter could come to town and even go out to dinner without being heckled by diehard Sox fans.

On Late Night with Seth Meyers, Jeter told Meyers -- a Red Sox fan -- about how Sox fans have gone soft since their team started winning.
“It doesn’t happen anymore,” he said about being heckled outside Fenway. “I can say this now because I’m retired. Boston fans have softened up since you guys have won. It pains me to say it, but . . . I won’t say it. I’m not happy you won. But you treat me a lot better since you won.”