"I think right now, I'm very close to being 100 percent," Ortiz said. "[I'm] very close; not too far away. I know myself really good, and I know when things are going bad and when things are going good. Being out for that long, I never thought I would be the way I am."
Hitting third in the Portland batting order, Ortiz saw six pitches in his first at-bat against Connecticut right-hander Joey Martinez.
After falling behind in the count, 1-2 -- including one foul back into the seats that set off a feeding frenzy -- Ortiz worked his way to a full count.
Martinez then tried to sneak a slider past Ortiz, but missed, and though Ortiz was tempted to swing, he checked his swing.
Ortiz later scored on a two-run single by Josh Reddick, who had just been promoted from Class A Lancaster.
Ortiz's second time up was briefer.
With Portland leading, 5-1, and Mickey Hall on second, Ortiz took two balls, then laced an opposite-field single into left field, which moved Hall to third.
Martinez finally retired Ortiz in his third at-bat, inducing Ortiz to pop out to first. It came with none on and one away, on a 77-mph curveball that might have been too tasty for Ortiz to resist.
"You know you're facing young kids," Ortiz said. "The kid I was facing tonight threw me some pitches that are Major League pitches. He tried to hit the spot inside and come back with his changeup. Me, as a big league hitter, I'm like, 'Wow, that's pretty impressive.'"
Ortiz finished his night in the bottom of the sixth with a bit of a flourish when he muscled a broken-bat single into right off reliever Nate Bump, who had relieved Martinez a batter earlier.
"I feel good." Ortiz said. "Hopefully, everything will keep going like that."
Ortiz is scheduled to man the designated-hitter spot again Tuesday and Wednesday before getting final clearance from the Red Sox medical staff to return to big league action.