Ortiz taking cautious approach

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Ortiz taking cautious approach

BOSTON David Ortiz said his strained right Achilles tendon is feeling better. But he doesnt know when he will be back in the lineup.

Its getting better slowly, he said after Saturdays loss to the Twins. Its going day by day. But Im starting to feel better. The pains starting to go away. Thats a good sign.

Asked if he thought he could return during the homestand, which ends Wednesday, Ortiz replied:

I dont know. I dont know yet.

Got to wait until I start doing the power drill and be pain free.

Ortiz, who has been on the DL since July 17, has not had any setbacks in his rehab, though.

No I havent, he said. Everything is going pretty much the way they planned because this is an injury that youre going to have those good days and those bad days. This is an injury that the only thing that fixes it is the time off. And its a little difficult for me right now, just being able to watch the game on TV and not being out there to help the ball club.

At the same time Im planning to keep on playing baseball and I dont want to do anything thats stupid that can put my career in jeopardy. So got to do what they tell me to do.

It has been difficult for him to sit on the sidelines and watch, he said. The Sox are 7-11 in his absence, including the current four-game losing streak. Watching Saturdays ninth-inning loss was especially tough.

Its hard, really hard, he said. But its better to be smart than being stupid. I want to be out there. It doesnt depend on me. It depends on how fast my injury heals up, and I can go back on the field without running a risk. Its a serious injury that you got to go day by day with.

We havent been able to keep up, and its just frustrating just looking at the results.

He believes his team can bounce back.

Everythings possible, he said. We still have a lot of games left. We just have to get caught into go straight. Try to come back and play better.

The offense which has been inconsistent for much of the season, has been wildly inconsistent in his absence. In just the last three games against the Twins, they have recorded two hits Thursday, both by Adrian Gonzalez, 14 hits on Friday, and six hits on Saturday, all resulting in losses.

I would call this a funk that we work with in the season and we havent been able to be consistent lately, he said. Hopefully things get better and we find a way to score more runs for our pitchers.

Quotes, notes and stars: Wright 'able to neutralize' top of Orioles lineup

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Quotes, notes and stars: Wright 'able to neutralize' top of Orioles lineup

BALTIMORE -- Quotes, notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 7-2 win over the Orioles.

 

QUOTES

"He was able to neutralize their top half (of the lineup) and that was the biggest thing.'' - John Farrell on Steven Wright.

"He never broke stride, continued in a full-out gait around third base. It was a good heads-up play on his part.'' - Farrell on Mookie Betts scoring all the way from second on a swinging bunt.

"It kind of throws them off because then if I leave one up, I'm hoping the difference in the speed will get them out front.'' - Steven Wright on changing speeds on the knuckleball.

"Yeah, I do. Off the field. Not when I'm at the park, but off the field, I do.'' - Xander Bogaerts, acknowledging that he does think about his ongoing hitting streak.

"It was amazing. Hitting my first home run and putting us ahead three (more) runs, it's awesome.'' - Marco Hernandez on his first major league home run.

 

NOTES:

* Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 23 games with two doubles.

* Marco Hernandez's three-run homer in the eighth inning was his first major league homer.

* Mookie Betts has now reached in 13 straight games against the Orioles.

* Betts has scored 14 runs in his last 11 games.

* In his last seven games, David Ortiz is 14-for-28 in his last seven games.

* Ortiz has seven homers in his last 12 games at Camden Yards and 12 homers in his last 16 games here.

* Ortiz has homered in each of his last three games, the 18th time in his career that he's done that.

* Steven Wright tossed a career-high 122 pitches.

* Wright became the third Red Sox starter to toss three consecutive complete games on the road since Roger Clemens in 1991-92.

 

STARS:

1) Steven Wright

Wright's third complete game of the season was a gem, with just four hits allowed - just three them into the outfield. He's got a 1.79 ERA on the road this season.

2) Xander Bogaerts

In addition to extending his hitting streak to 23 games, Bogaerts had two doubles and knocked in two runs.

3) Marco Hernandez

Hernandez's first big league homer was a big one, extending what had been a two-run lead to a five-run cushion with a three-run blast in the eighth

 

First impressions of the Red Sox’ 7-2 win over the Orioles

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First impressions of the Red Sox’ 7-2 win over the Orioles

BALTIMORE -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 7-2 win over the Orioles:

* Steven Wright had six 1-2-3 innings among the nine he pitched.

For a brief time in the second, after two were out, Wright battled command. Then, in the fifth, he yielded three straight hits and a sacrifice fly, accounting for the only two runs he allowed.

Otherwise? Wright carved through the Baltimore lineup, facing the minimum number of hitters in six of the nine other innings and one over the minimum in another.

He got a number of weak squibbers - including a couple he fielded himself and of the four hits he allowed, only three left the infield.

* Mookie Betts stole the first Red Sox run with some alert baserunning.

Betts was on second when Xander Bogaerts hit a tapped in front of the mound.

Catcher Caleb Joseph pounced on the ball about 15 feet from home plate, but then stood there after throwing out Bogaerts at first. With home plate unguarded, Betts got to third and alertly kept going, beating the throw home from first baseman Chris Davis.

Betts is the probably the Red Sox' fastest baserunner, but in instances like that one, he showed he's also one of their smartest.

* David Ortiz is a menace at Camden Yards.

There's a reason John Farrell waited to make out the lineup card, hoping that David Ortiz was available after missing Sunday's game with a sore foot. Ortiz usually makes his presence felt here and Monday was no different.

He homered to right to lead off the eighth, giving him seven homers in his last 10 games at Camden Yards and 12 homers in his last 28 games.

If Ortiz played for the Orioles, it's frightening to think what sort of power numbers he could put up playing half the time in a ballpark with an inviting right field porch.

* The Sox have gotten plenty of contributions from bench players.

Josh Rutledge (.830 OPS) has helped out in the infield, with Brock Holt relegated to LF, and more recently, the DL. On Monday, it was Marco Hernandez's turn. Hernandez supplied a three-run homer from the ninth spot in the eighth inning, turning a two-run lead into a five-run advantage.

Their contributions have allowed Farrell to make some moves around the infield, such as Monday's decision to give Hanley Ramirez a day off while shifting Travis Shaw to first.

Sean McAdam can be followed on Twitter @Sean_McAdam.