By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- David Ortiz has launched an appeal of his four-game suspension, handed down Thursday after his role in a bench-clearing brawl last week, but sidestepped any comments about the punishment.
"I can give you an answer after I go through the whole thing,'' said Ortiz. "I can't really talk about it right now. But I'm appealing and whenever I hear back from (MLB and MLBPA) I can let you know.''
Ortiz was hopeful that the appeal will be held soon.
"I can't really talk to you guys about it right now. But I will. I'll tell you what I was thinking, what I thought was right and I'll tell you what I'm going to get.''
He was unsure whether the appeal might be heard before Monday night when the Red Sox open a three-game series against the Orioles in Baltimore.
"I don't know,'' he said. "I haven't heard anything.''
Asked if there was the potential for a carryover from the last series when the teams meet next week, Ortiz said: "Hopefully not. Not from my side. You saw what happened already. You saw another guy (Mike Gonzalez) throw (behind) me (Sunday) and you saw my reaction. I was surprised they were still carrying it over (two days later).
"But let's see. Major League Baseball is always doing the right thing to make sure we don't get into that too much. Hopefully, everyone can turn the page.''
Ortiz joked that in an effort to not be hit, he "got skinny as (Andrew) Miller,'' when Gonzalez threw behind him Sunday.
Reflecting back on the series with the Orioles, Ortiz said: "Sometimes you get put in situations and you either act like you don't care or you do what you've got to do. I got caught up in a situation and you just move on.
"I don't want anyone looking at you like you're a punk. I'm a grown-ass man. I respect everybody and that's why I have a lot of friends around the league because that's the way it's supposed to be.
"When we cross the lines, you've got to play the game the way it's supposed to be and that's about it.''
- Shortstop Jed Lowrie (bruised shoulder nerve) feels improvement though there's still some fatigue in the area.
"He's doing better,'' said Terry Francona. "I bet you he's not too far off from starting to swing a bat. Maybe in Baltimore; maybe that's a little too quick. But I bet you in the not-too-distant future.''
- Jon Lester, who is on the DL with a strained lat muscle, threw Friday afternoon from a distance of 90 feet at Tropicana Field and will stretch out to 120 feet Saturday. After a day off, he'll throw a side session in Baltimore Friday.
Lester is eligible to come off the DL Thursday and has told the team he think he'll be able to go Friday when the club begins a homestand.
Francona, however, thinks that might be a little premature.
"I think he thinks he's going to be ready to do that,'' said Francona. "I don't know. When he pitches, we're not going to mess it up. There are a few things to think about. He feels he's going to be more than ready, so that's good news."
- Yamaico Navarro got the start in left field, with Darnell McDonald in right field against Tampa Bay lefty David Price.
"We've got some lefties,'' said Francona. "Some of it's going to be determined by how he hits and how other guys hit. Carl (Crawford) is going to be back in a couple of days; until then, we're just trying to get as much production as we can.''
Francona said Navarro "looks real comfortable (in the outfield). It's actually pretty impressive. Wherever you put him, he's got that nice feel. There's no panic. He's really athletic. He looks go out there.''
- Daisuke Matsuzaka was in the clubhouse, traveling up from nearby Fort Myers, where he's rehabbing following his recent Tommy John surgery.
"He just wanted to check in,'' said Francona. "He looks good. He's got nice range of motion (with his right arm); it's nice to see him.''