Notes: Ortiz sits with sore shoulder

Notes: Ortiz sits with sore shoulder

ANAHEIM -- Still suffering from a sore left shoulder, designated hitter David Ortiz didn't start the finale of the three-game series against the Angels.

Manager Terry Francona said he noticed that Ortiz seemed to be in discomfort during batting practice Tuesday night.

"You could tell by looking at him," Francona said. "It didn't hurt when he was swinging, but when he missed or held up, you saw it."

Ortiz sustained the injury on July 20, when he made an awkward, headfirst slide into second base during a game against the White Sox. He was attempting to stretch a single into a double.

An MRI taken after the incident showed no damage, but just to be safe, Dr. Craig Milhouse, the Angels' team physician and an associate of Dr. Lewis Yocum, was to look at Ortiz.

"I'm pretty sore, and it's bothering me when I swing," Ortiz said.

Francona is hopeful that the all Ortiz needs is a little rest.

"We're going to give him today, and with a day off tomorrow, we'll see how he feels on Friday," Francona said.

Ortiz said that while his shoulder been sore, it hasn't gotten any better or any worse in the more than two weeks since he sustained the injury.

"You know how a shoulder injury is," he said. You need to take time off for it to get better, and I haven't had any."

New member of the family: Outfielder Eric Hinske and wife Kathryn, welcomed the newest member of the Red Sox Nation, with the birth of daughter Eva on Tuesday night. It is the first child for the Hinskes.

Hinske is currently on the bereavement list, dealing with both the recent passing of his grandmother and his wife's difficult pregnancy. With wife and child doing fine, it is expected that Hinske will be rejoining the club shortly, but there is no date set for his return.

Brandon Moss, who was called up to take Hinkse's spot on the roster and was scheduled to return to Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday, will instead travel with the team to Baltimore.

Bottom line still best: As much as fans and analysts make want to break down Boston's season into segments; 2-3 on the road trip, 12-6 since July 20, 15-11 since the All-Star break or 32-29 since June 1, the only thing that matters to Francona is the bottom line -- the current record.

"What's important is what our record is," Francona explained, "and you go through a ton of up and downs to get to that point."

The view really depends on who is doing the looking. While reporters point to the fact that the five-game lead over the Yankees heading into Wednesday's action is the smallest Boston has held since it had a 12-game lead on July 2, others will point out that the current margin is the largest of any Major League division leader.

As Francona points out, the Sox are playing great ball, and as long as they continue to win, there isn't anything else they can do.

"If the Yankees win the rest of their games," he said smiling, "We're probably in trouble."

As proof of his point, while the Sox have played .666 ball for the last 18 games (12-6) they've actually lost three games to the Yankees in the standings.

Needless to say, while neither Francona nor any of the Red Sox think that the Yankees aren't going to lose again, they do realize that the outcome of the season rests in their own hands, providing they do the one thing that Francona wants to see happen.

"We just have to play good baseball," he said.

Down on the farm: The Sox got some strong pitching performances from the kids on Tuesday. At Double-A Portland, right-hander Felix Diaz allowed just one unearned run on three hits and two walks over six innings. He also struck out a season-high eight. Diaz didn't figure in the decision, as Altoona beat the Sea Dogs, 6-1, but he lowered his ERA to 2.05 in four Eastern League starts.

At Class A, left-hander Kris Johnson set a career high with 10 strikeouts, as Lancaster defeated Modesto, 15-2. Johnson gave up four hits, one of them a solo home run, which was the only run he allowed in six innings.

Lancaster outfielder Brad Correll went 2-for-5 with a home run and five RBIs. In just 34 games with the JetHawks, Correll is batting .310 with 18 home runs and 50 RBIs.

On deck: After a day off for travel, the Red Sox open a three-game series in Baltimore as Daisuke Matsuzaka (13-8, 3.70) takes the mound, squaring off against the Orioles' Erik Bedard (12-4, 3.09) in a 7:05 p.m. ET start.

Glenn Rabney is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.