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Saturday, August 25, 2012
Papi doesn't miss a beat in return from DL

By Joe McDonald

David Ortiz
David Ortiz strokes a two-run single in the first inning of Boston's 4-3 win Friday.
BOSTON -- It didn't take long for Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz to contribute with his bat.

He was activated from the disabled list prior to Friday's game and went 2-for-4, including a double and two RBIs. In his first at-bat in the first inning, Ortiz drove the first pitch he saw off Royals starter Bruce Chen for a two-run single. In the third inning, he collected his second hit of the night, again on the first pitch, with a double to right-center field.

He struck out in the sixth and seventh innings. Ortiz missed a total of 35 games because of a right Achilles strain and the Red Sox went 13-22 in his absence. What's even more impressive, it's the first time he's seen live pitching since July 16.

"The one thing I kept on doing was working on hitting," Ortiz said. "The toughest part of the game is hitting, but on the other hand I'm still having issues with my foot. After I hit that double, in my second at-bat, I was thinking how my Achilles would react afterwards. It got in my head a little bit and it was getting sore, so we'll see how it goes the next couple of days."

While manager Bobby Valentine was told to remove first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the lineup due to the impending trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the manager was pleased to finally put Ortiz's name on the lineup card.

"He looked like a sight for sore eyes," Valentine said. "He proved you don't need a rehab assignment. He saw the first two pitches and drove them nicely.

"We must have pretty good BP pitchers to simulate Bruce Chen's slider and fastball," Valentine said with a smile. "But that's very impressive. David is world-class and world-class players can do special things."