Valentine: Ortiz a "sight for sore eyes"

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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."

Moreland homers again, Red Sox tag A's to avoid four-game sweep

Moreland homers again, Red Sox tag A's to avoid four-game sweep

OAKLAND, Calif. - A five-run ninth inning for the Red Sox that lasted more than a half-hour derailed any chance Eduardo Rodriguez had of getting his first career complete game.

Not that the left-hander was complaining.

After a bitter loss to Oakland a year ago when he allowed just one hit over eight innings, Rodriguez was more than happy with the way things turned out.

Rodriguez earned his second straight win, Mitch Moreland homered in his third consecutive game and Boston beat the Oakland Athletics 12-3 on Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.

"I wanted to go back out there but they hit the ball pretty good in that inning and I know I had to get out of the game," Rodriguez said about the long wait. "I'll take it because we score more runs, I have a chance to win. If every inning's like that, I'll get out of the game after five."

Rodriguez (3-1) allowed three runs over eight innings. He struck out eight, walked one and retired 14 of his final 15 batters.

"Where he was with the pitch count, it'd be nice for him to go out there for the ninth inning given where he was and how well he was throwing the baseball," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "But at that point you're up nine, probably about a 35-minute inning, didn't want to take any chances."

Hanley Ramirez and Christian Vazquez had three hits apiece to power a Red Sox lineup that tallied 15 hits. Every player in Boston's starting lineup had at least one hit, and eight of the nine drove in runs.

Chad Pinder homered and drove in two runs for Oakland.

Boston, which hasn't been swept in a four-game series since July 2015, trailed 3-2 before scoring 10 runs over the final five innings.

"It felt we had them on the run a little bit," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "They get the lead and then we come back and take the lead again and you feel pretty good. But they were pretty persistent today."

Pinder went deep in the fourth, his fourth home run in eight games and fifth overall.

The A's committed three errors, giving them a major league-leading 42.

BRADLEY'S DEFENSIVE GEMS

Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts gave the A's trouble with his running and defense. Betts scored twice from first base and also made a pair of strong defensive plays. He made a sliding catch on Mark Canha's sinking liner in the eighth and then slammed into the wall after catching Khris' Davis fly to end the inning.

"This place during the daytime plays very difficult," Farrell said. "What Mookie was able to do a couple times in right field, those aren't easy plays. To be able to stay with it, go up against the wall a couple of times, we played very good outfield defense here today."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: Brock Holt continues to deal with lingering symptoms from vertigo and isn't yet ready to come off the disabled list, according to Farrell. Likewise, Boston plans to keep third baseman Pablo Sandoval in the minors to get consistent at-bats while recovering from a right knee sprain. ... Farrell said LHP Drew Pomeranz, who took the loss Saturday, will start against Texas on Thursday.

Athletics: Yonder Alonso (sore left knee) sat out his fourth straight game but could be back in the lineup Tuesday when Oakland begins a two-game series against Miami. ... Sean Doolittle (strained left shoulder) threw on flat ground before making 15 pitches off the mound. The plan is for the former closer to throw 25 pitches on Wednesday. ... Melvin said the team has applied for an extension on Chris Bassitt's rehab assignment. Bassitt underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello (2-5) faces Texas on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park. Porcello has lost three of his last four decisions.

Athletics: Following an off day, RHP Jesse Hahn (1-3) starts against Miami on Tuesday at the Coliseum. Hahn leads the majors in fewest home runs allowed per nine innings at 0.19.