Return men: Ellsbury back, Ortiz to follow


Return men: Ellsbury back, Ortiz to follow

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
ARLINGTON, Tex. -- Jacoby Ellsbury returned to the Red Sox lineup Tuesday night, and wasted no time making an immediate contribution.

Ellsbury,who missed the previous three games after being hit by a pitch inKansas City, singled to start the game, stole second, moved to third ona sacrifice bunt and came around on the first of Gonzalez's two homers, jumpstarting the Red Sox' offense en route to an 11-5 win over the Rangers.

"He was back about six seconds and he's standing on third," said Terry Francona after the game. "It's nice to see him healthy."

Ellsbury also made a fine running catch in the fifth to take extra bases away from Ian Kinsler.

"He impacts us a lot, obviously," said Francona.

Franconaalso said David Ortiz was cleared to pinch-hit Tuesday night, andwill return to the starting lineup Wednesday night.

Ortizran in the outfield in the 100-plus degree heat prior to Tuesday'sgame. He's been out of the lineup for the past week with bursitis inhis right heel.

Asked if he felt ready to return to thelineup Wednesday night here, Ortiz said, "I can be in the lineup rightnow. But I have to wait and hear what the doctors tell me. This issomething that if you don't do exactly what they say, it can catch upwith you later on. I don't want to be stupid."

Ortiz said he felt no pain in the heel while running under the supervision of trainer Mike Reinold.

Even before Ortiz ran, manager Terry Francona said Ortiz "might be OK," to return Wednesday.

"If he's OK, he's going to be OK," said Francona. "If he does need another day, we'll do it."

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

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.


Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

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.