Valentine: Ortiz a "sight for sore eyes"


Valentine: Ortiz a "sight for sore eyes"

BOSTON -- David Ortiz swung at the first two pitches he faced on Friday night. They just so happened to also be the first two pitches he faced since July 16.

Ortiz returned from nearly a six-week absence because of an achilles strain, and went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

Both hits came on those first two pitches.

"He looked like a sight for sore eyes," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine after Boston's 4-3 win over Kansas City. "He proved that he didn't need a rehab assignment. And the first two pitches that he saw, he drove both of them nicely. One for two RBIs."

Ortiz ripped a Bruce Chen sinker for a single in the bottom of the first, driving in two runs and giving the Red Sox an early 2-0 lead.

He followed that up by ripping a double to right-center on the next pitch he saw, in his next at-bat, in the bottom of the third.

"We must have pretty good BP pitchers, to simulate Bruce Chen's slider and fastball," joked Valentine afterwards. "But that was very impressive. David's world class. World-class players can do special things."

Ortiz said afterwards that there are still questions about his health, but that he "wanted to give it a try" on a night in which Adrian Gonzalez was pulled from the lineup at the last minute, because of a rumored trade that would send him, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"It wasn't boring before the game, that's for sure," said Valentine. "And the guys got their fluids going. And David was the medicine they needed to get into the game."

"One thing I kept on doing was just working on the hitting," said Ortiz afterwards. "The toughest part of the game is to hit. But on the other hand, I'm still having issues with my foot.

"I wanted to give it a try, you know what I'm saying, and see how it feels. The team, and how things were going. We had an issue with our offense. With that said, we'll see how it feels the next couple of days."