Ortiz back at DH after Lowell's big night

May, 4, 2010
5/04/10
7:44
PM ET
BOSTON -- True to his word, manager Terry Francona had David Ortiz back in the lineup as DH Tuesday night against Angels right-hander Ervin Santana, replacing Mike Lowell, who reached base five times in Monday night’s 17-8 win.

“I thought [Lowell] swung the bat great,’’ Francona said Tuesday. “I also think that we’re trying to look at the big picture. Adrian [Beltre] swung the bat very well too. We need David ... if we DH Lowell, somebody’s going to sit.

“Whether it’s juggling or whatever term you want to use, we’re trying to win tonight, tomorrow, the next day. I’m not trying to get ahead of myself, but I think we’re doing the right thing.’’

Here’s what makes a straight left-right platoon tough for Lowell to abide. While Ortiz’s numbers show a drastic split between left-handed and right-handed pitchers in the last two seasons -- Ortiz was batting .216 with 11 homers and 48 RBIs against lefties, .263 with 40 HRs and 140 RBIs against righties entering this season -- Lowell has handled righties and lefties almost the same in his four seasons with the Sox. He was batting .296 with 56 home runs and 263 RBIs against righties, .292 with 19 home runs and 85 RBIs against lefties.

Francona customarily tells players the night before whether they’ll be in the next day's lineup, so Lowell went home Monday night knowing that his career-tying three doubles did not gain him a place in Tuesday's starting lineup.

“When you talk about being consistent, some things have changed this year from the past,’’ Francona said. “I think when we tell them, they have a chance to gather themselves and be ready to be productive for whatever they’re asked.

“I know when I was a player I didn’t like waiting for the lineup to go up.’’

Encouraging sign for Ellsbury
Jacoby Ellsbury took batting practice in a group Tuesday, hooked one ball inside the Pesky Pole, and was not seen grabbing his rib cage at any time.

That’s an encouraging development for the Red Sox outfielder and leadoff man, who has not played since his April 11 collision with Beltre in Kansas City.

Mike Cameron, meanwhile, has already taken batting practice on the field a couple of times and shagged fly balls. Cameron has not played since April 18 because of an abdominal tear.

“Cam is really doing well,’’ Francona said. “Again, the intensity continues to build. We’ll just continue to monitor how quickly he’s coming and start talking to him certainly more about towards the end of the week what we think is in his best interest. But he’s doing really well.

Pawtucket start for Bonser
Boof Bonser, who has been on the DL since March 31 with a groin strain then had a setback on his rehab assignment in Pawtucket, is scheduled to start for Pawtucket Friday in Charlotte, N.C., according to broadcaster Dan Hoard, who is traveling with the club.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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