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David Ortiz set to return from DL on Friday

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  August 23, 2012 05:00 PM

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David Ortiz ran the bases this afternoon and barring a setback with his strained right Achilles tendon, will be activated off the disabled list on Friday.

Ortiz has been out since July 17. The Sox are 13-21 in his absence with their designated hitters going 31 of 130 (.238) with seven RBIs and no home runs.

The Sox averaged 5.0 runs and had a .771 OPS with Ortiz in lineup. That production has dropped to 4.3 runs and .713 OPS without him.

"It looked like David got through everything perfectly today," Bobby Valentine said. "He had run sprints and done other things. Today he ran the bases. We’re going to see how he gets through it. If he gets through it we’re planning on hopefully activating him tomorrow."

Ortiz also took batting practice today. He was hitting .316 with 23 homers and 58 RBIs at the time of his injury. Despite missing more than a month, Ortiz still leads the team in home runs.

"I feel OK, yeah,’’ Ortiz said. "I’m not really ready, but I think I can play like this and hopefully continue improving.’’

Asked if he felt he would be activated Friday, Ortiz said, "Maybe, maybe. We got to see how I’m feeling. I ran today again and was feeling good.’’

Also:

• Valentine got upset when asked the rotation for the Kansas City series, which starts on Friday.

"Who cares who’s pitching? Why is this such a big thing?" he said. "There’s a lot of things going on that, unless we just want to start some stir on something, I don’t think there’s any reason to talk about it."

Valentine did say that Felix Doubront would come off the disabled list to pitch on Sunday. Unless something unusual happens, Jon Lester will start on Friday and Josh Beckett on Saturday. Aaron Cook would be lined up for Monday.

Valentine indicated that Daisuke Matsuzaka will pitch another game for Triple A Pawtucket on Monday.

• Albert Pujols (right calf strain) is out of the Los Angeles lineup. He told reporters he felt "way better" today, however.

• The Sox took their annual team photo today. There was one photo taken of just the team in front of the scoreboard. Then another with the players and all the team employees.

• Valentine on Adrian Gonzalez’s defense this season: “He’s better than I thought. He’s the Gold Glove in the American League, I think without a doubt. He has saved, I can’t even imagine how many, balls in the dirt that are tough hops. There are a lot of easy hops that are thrown in the dirt. He catches the tough ones.”

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