BOSTON David Ortiz received an injection today, hoping to alleviate the pain in his right heel from a strained Achilles tendon.
Manager Bobby Valentine was unsure what effect the injection would have on Ortizs return to the lineup.
Without Ortiz, though, the Red Sox have gone 8-19
Theres no way of measuring Ortizs absence, Valentine said. But when you play without Dustin or you play without Mike Aviles or Jacoby Ellsbury or whomever, you do it. Thats what big league teams do. You play through those things.
Ortiz has been on the disabled list since July 17. Valentine was unsure if the designated hitter is now days away from a return, or weeks away.
Thats why I always hate to say a day or a week, Valentine said. When hes ready, Ill be ready to put him in the lineup, thats for sure. But I thought it was days a couple of days ago.
Pablo Sandoval hit his fourth home run of the spring and Rusney Castillo had three hits to lead a Red Sox split squad to a 7-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday in Port Charlotte, Fla.
Sandoval, who has won back his third base job after missing nearly all of last season following surgery on his left shoulder, connected for a three-run shot, batting right-handed, against Rays starter Ian Snell in the fifth inning. The switch-hitting Sandoval had abandoned hitting right-handed in 2015, his last full season with the Red Sox.
He's hitting .353 this spring with a 1.051 OPS and 19 RBI.
Castillo, the Cuban outfielder signed to a seven-year, $72 million deal late in 2014 but again likely headed for Triple-A Pawtucket, went 3-for-4 and is hitting .368 this spring. Catcher Blake Swihart, also probably Pawtucket-bound, had two hits and is hitting .325.
Kyle Kendrick strengthened his bid for a spot in the rotation by allowing two runs in six innings and striking out six and Jackie Bradley homered as a Red Sox split squad played to a 3-3 tie with the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.
Kendrick, 32, a non-roster invitee to spring training, allowed eight hits and a walk in his sixth start this spring. He's been the Red Sox best starter with an ERA of 2.17.
With David Price out until May and lefty Drew Pomeranz still a question mark, Kendrick could find his way into the rotation behind Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez.
Bradley went 2-for-3 with his third homer of the spring. He's hitting .244 in spring training games.
The Phillies pushed across the tying run in the ninth off lefty reliever Robby Scott, the first run he's allowed this spring in 10 innings.
The Minnesota Twins host the Red Sox on Sunday at 1:05 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.