PAWTUCKET, R.I — Winding down Red Sox slugger David Ortiz’s first of seven minor league starts…
To recap, Ortiz was 1-for-3 with a home run, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored in the Triple A Pawtucket-Toledo game Thursday night. The Paw Sox won 15-6. The 15 runs scored is a season high.
Ortiz is scheduled to play in Friday’s game as well, which starts at 7:05 p.m. here. Pawtucket manager Ron Johnson said the plan is to have the same type of schedule for Ortiz tomorrow — same amount of at-bats and so on.
Here are some comments from Pawtucket manager Ron Johnson:
On the team feeding off Ortiz:
“There’s no doubt. Anytime you have a presence like that sitting in the middle of your lineup. I know standing on the third base line and I’m thinking, ‘Man, this is a nice look walking up here’ because you’ve got (Chris) Carter hitting fourth and Kottaras and right on down the line.
“Any lineup is going to obviously be better with David Ortiz in it so we reaped the benefits tonight.”
On his home run:
“I didn’t even see the home run. It must’ve been a laser because it was low and all I could see was the crowd screaming and I saw the right fielder turn and I said, ‘That’s probably gone’ because I’m thinking about the balls he hit off me in BP and I’m going ‘If he hit it and he squared it up, this ballpark ain’t going to hold him.'”
On Ortiz being done after his fourth at-bat in the sixth inning:
“With a player like that, just like when (Curt Schilling) and those guys are down here, they know what they need. It worked out good.
“After talking with him afterwards, he didn’t have any problems with the swing. That’s really good stuff right there. We’ll see how he is tomorrow and I’m sure he’ll be fine and we’ll go out and do it again.”
– Former Red Sox starter Justin Masterson pitched 1 1/3 innings against Toledo Thursday night, giving up two runs on two hits while striking out two. He gave up a grand slam in the top of the seventh inning to Toledo’s Derek Wathan.
“I thought Masterson’s stuff was really good,” said Johnson. “He threw one pitch that was kind of, mislocated to Wathan that got in and broke the bat. He tried to go back in there and he left the pitch out over (the plate) and the guy hit it out of the ballpark.”
– Pitching prospect Michael Bowden, who was promoted to Triple A Pawtucket Wednesday, is expected to start for the Paw Sox Monday. Bowden was 9-4 with Double A Portland this season and has a 2.87 ERA with 101 strikeouts.