Papi's progress includes baserunning adventure
Ortiz plates two, nearly gets doubled off first base in second rehab game
PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- David Ortiz isn't ready to come off the disabled list and rejoin the Boston Red Sox.
But with each rehab game he plays with the Pawtucket Red Sox, the gap between the amount of time he needs to spend on the DL and when he can drive up I-95 to Boston is shrinking.
"I thought David was outstanding," PawSox manager Gary DiSarcina said of Ortiz, who played his second rehab game Saturday, against Rochester. "He swung the bat really well and came out of it once again pretty healthy. I think he has normal soreness from playing.
"He ran the bases a little bit and progressed."
Ortiz only played in the first game of a makeup doubleheader against Rochester and was 1-for-4 with one run and two RBIs as Pawtucket won, 7-1. He left McCoy Stadium without addressing the media.
Ortiz will continue his rehab assignment Sunday when Pawtucket hosts Rochester in a 1 p.m. ET game.
"He knows his body better than anyone," DiSarcina said. "He's rehabbed before. He knows how many at-bats he needs to be able to get out of here and be with his teammates in Boston."
Ortiz last saw action in a Boston uniform on August 24, 2012, when he re-injured his right Achilles tendon while running the bases in a game against Kansas City.
"We're happy to have him here, but ultimately, the best thing to do is get him out of here," DiSarcina said. "As far as I know, he hasn't come up with any issues and is progressing.
"David is a special case. He communicates with [manager] John [Farrell], and I talked with John about it this morning. Without a doubt, my job as a manager is to ask David how he's doing and how many more at-bats he wants, especially on cold days [Saturday's game-time temperature was 39 degrees]." Ortiz, who batted third and served as the designated hitter, faced Shairon Martis and lined a 1-2 pitch to first baseman Jeff Clement in the first.
In the third, with nobody on and one out, Martis fanned Ortiz on a 1-2 fastball that was clocked at 88 mph.
Ortiz faced lefty Tyler Robertson in the fourth and hit a soft liner to second baseman Brian Dinkelman.
Ortiz's fourth and final at-bat, in the sixth, proved to be a baserunning adventure.
Pawtucket broke a 1-1 tie when Jose Iglesias drew a bases-loaded walk, which brought Ortiz to the plate with nobody out.
Lefty Caleb Thielbar was called on to face Ortiz, who ripped a 2-0 pitch to right field for a two-run single.
Ryan Lavarnway followed with a sacrifice fly to deep center, which was caught by Clete Thomas, who then threw to second baseman Dinkelman. Ortiz advanced at least halfway to second, but had to slide back into first to avoid being doubled up on a throw by Dinkelman, which sailed past the bag for an error.
Eventually, Ortiz jogged home from second on Drew Sutton's double and almost was passed by Brandon Snyder who was hustling around third.
"He's got to slide before he gets back up to the big leagues," DiSarcina said of Ortiz's near misadventure in the sixth. "It's good to see him sliding and get that stuff out of the way. Even when players go to Spring Training, they have to do some sliding before they get in the first game.
"It may sound silly but sliding's a fundamental. For David to go out and run around a little bit and slide and come out healthy is outstanding."
Mike Scandura is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.