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After hitting home run, David Ortiz says he expects to join Red Sox Friday

04.18.13 at 4:18 pm ET
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PAWTUCKET, R.I. ‘€“ David Ortiz said after Thursday’€™s rehab game with the PawSox that he expects to return with the Red Sox Friday.

Ortiz, who homered in the PawSox’€™ 14-5 loss to Lehigh Valley at McCoy Stadium (going 1-for-3), has gone 4-for-18 on his Triple-A rehab assignment, striking out twice and not drawing a walk.

‘€œThere were some times I could have walked, but my idea was trying to put the ball in play so I could run and see how this (Achilles tendon) feels,’€ he said. ‘€œI got the chance to do that and it feels good. So I’€™ll go back to the big team tomorrow and try to keep it going.’€

When asked if he believes he’€™s ready to contribute to the big league team, Ortiz said, ‘€œI think so. I’€™m old enough to know what I need to do to keep (his swing) compact, My main key was to make sure my foot was fine and keep moving.’€

Ortiz said that early on during his return to the Red Sox he expects that there will be days the designated hitter needs to take some time out of the team’€™s lineup.

‘€œI might need some days off once in a while, but hopefully that doesn’€™t have to be the whole year,’€ he said. ‘€œHopefully at one point I’€™m like, ‘€˜OK, I’€™m 100 percent so let’€™s get going.’€™’€

The DH added, ‘€œTo be honest with you, running the whole time is not going to go in my favor. But running is part of the game. Those days, like today, where you hit a homer and you don’€™t run the bases, those are plus-days that are going to save you for the following days. We know how (to handle it when) we’€™re going to get on base a lot, because it is going to happen, regardless. You just have to be ready for it. I’€™ve had a couple of days, so I’€™m not going to go too crazy about it.’€

Ortiz is joining a Red Sox team that stands at 10-4, the second-best record in the major leagues. The Sox ‘€“ using primarily using a combination of Daniel Nava, Jonny Gomes and Mike Napoli ‘€“ have totaled a .289 batting average and .969 OPS at the designated hitter position, thus far.

‘€œI love it,’€ said Ortiz of the team’€™s early-season success. ‘€œThat’€™s less pressure for me. Now I know I can take my time to do my thing and walk into a good funk, not try to do too much and not try to carry them on my back. The team is playing well and hopefully it will continue which will make it easier on me. Just keep on winning.’€

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