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Red Sox pregame notes: David Ortiz (finally) gets a day off; Brandon Snyder gets start at third; Stephen Drew day-to-day; Jon Lester fine and Clay Buchholz progressing

06.30.13 at 12:58 pm ET

When David Ortiz returned to the Red Sox lineup in mid-April, no one really knew quite how much he would be able to play or what sort of numbers he would put up.

Two months and 10 days later, the answers to those questions are much, much clearer. Ortiz has been a middle-of-the-order force, hitting .317 with a .404 OBP and .604 slugging mark along with team-highs in home runs (16) and RBIs (57), and he’€™s even tripled twice and stolen a pair of bases.

After playing in 22 consecutive games and 45 of the last 46, however, Ortiz is getting Sunday off. John Farrell said with an off day Monday, having Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia sit out the finale vs. the Blue Jays was a good opportunity to get the pair back-to-back down days.

It has been a pleasant surprise that Ortiz has been able to play so often ‘€” not to mention be so productive ‘€” coming off of his lingering Achilles and heel injuries, Farrell said.

‘€œNot just in terms of the daily activity, but it’€™s also the way he’€™s run the bases,’€ Farrell said. ‘€œThere’€™s been no hesitation. He’€™s got a couple of triples, a couple of stolen bases ‘€” things we didn’€™t anticipate when he came back. So he’€™s responded to that stress and obviously the presence in the middle of the lineup speaks for itself.’€

While Saltalamacchia is hitless in three at-bats against Toronto starter Mark Buehrle, Ortiz has had much success against the right-hander. His .358/.394/.627 slash line is supplemented by 14 extra-base hits (three homers, nine doubles) and 13 RBIs.

But it wasn’€™t enough to pass up on giving Ortiz the day off.

‘€œThe way he’€™s feeling and the need of the off day overrides that,’€ Farrell said. ‘€œIt’€™s just general soreness. It’€™s not the heel or Achilles specifically by any means. Generally he needs a day.’€

Brandon Snyder, recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket Tuesday, is batting ninth and making his second major league start at third base, his first since May 2012 with the Rangers. Snyder has been taking groundballs at the hot corner this week and played the position with Pawtucket, Farrell said. The Sox viewed his swing path as representing a good fit for the lineup against left-hander Buehrle — though it’s worth noting that Snyder had better splits against righties (.269/.352/.469) this year in Pawtucket than against lefties (.254/.299/.460).

— Farrell said Stephen Drew is still day-to-day with a hamstring injury. The shortstop went on the treadmill Saturday for some range-of-motion drills, but has not yet run and does not have a projected timetable to return.

Jon Lester remains scheduled to take his regular turn in the rotation Wednesday against the Padres. After jamming his hip and leaving the game Thursday, Lester has shown no lingering affects and is set to throw a bullpen Sunday.

Clay Buchholz is making incremental progress in his return from the bursa sac inflammation in his right shoulder. He threw Saturday, and the plan is for him to throw at 75 feet Sunday and will ‘€œbegin a more structured program going forward,” according to Farrell.

– PawSox infielder Brock Holt, sidelined the last two weeks with an oblique injury, will make his return to the Triple-A lineup Monday, Farrell said.

Read More: brandon snyder, Brock Holt, Clay Buchholz, David Ortiz
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