David Ortiz drew two walks and grounded a two-run single into right field in the fourth inning.
“I never left,” he said with a hearty chuckle when asked if that meant he was back.
Ortiz was 0 for 23 when he grounded into a force play in the first inning. But he reached base three times after that in a 4-3 victory against the White Sox.
“Don’t worry about me,” Ortiz said. “It’s time to worry about me when I go to the plate with no bat.”
That John Farrell stayed with Ortiz was no surprise. He has showed faith in players with far less status during the course of the season. Invariably, he has been rewarded, too.
“What else can he do? Just because I struggled for a week, he’s not going to sit me down or something like that,” said Ortiz, who also drew two walks. “He should have that faith. I’ve been in this for a long time.”
• The Sox were held to six hits but generated enough offense for Ryan Dempster (7-9) to win after an 11-day absence from the rotation.
Dempster pitched into the seventh inning in his first start since hitting controversial Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez with a pitch. Major League Baseball suspended Dempster for five games.
Dempster was charged with three runs on five hits over 6 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out five. For a pitcher who had a 6.81 earned run average in his previous seven starts, it was a significant improvement.
“When you’re not playing and you’re not injured, it’s not a fun thing,” Dempster said. “I was glad I was able to get out there and just pitch a little bit better and give us a chance to win a ball game.
• Shane Victorino, who was 2 for 3 with a walk, an RBI and two more runs scored. He is 21 of his last 48 with 10 extra-base hits, 14 RBIs, and 14 runs scored. He leads the Sox with 22 RBIs this month.
• Junichi Tazawa, Franklin Morales, and Koji Uehara each got an out in the eighth inning as Farrell used a well-rested bullpen to manage the one-run lead.
Uehara got his second four-out save of the season, setting down the side in order in the ninth. Uehara has not allowed a run since July 6, a stretch of 23 innings. That’s the best streak of his career and the second-longest active streak in the majors. Opposing hitters are 6 for 73 in those 20 games.
• The Sox have allowed only 20 runs in their last 10 games, their starters posting a 2.11 ERA.