As the late afternoon Texas heat hovered in the low 100s on Tuesday, Ortiz ran sprints in the outfield. That wound up being the final hurdle for a return to the lineup on Wednesday. In fact, manager Terry Francona said that Ortiz could have pinch-hit if necessary on Tuesday.
Ortiz was pleased the way the running session went, and he is confident that the right heel bursitis that has kept him out of the lineup the last nine games is about to become a thing of the past.
"I can be in the lineup right now," Ortiz said. "I can't be watching this [stuff] no more. But yeah, I've got to listen to what the doctor says, because I think I just have to stay on top of everything they tell me. This is something, if you don't do things exactly the way they say, it can catch up with you later on, so I don't want to be stupid."
Ellsbury had been sidelined with a back bruise after being hit by a pitch on Friday in Kansas City. He lined the second pitch of Tuesday's game into right field for a single. Ellsbury then stole second, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Adrian Gonzalez's two-run homer.
"Yeah, it was good to be back in the lineup and I just wanted to bring some energy to the lineup and I wanted to set the tone from the get-go," said Ellsbury.