Papi makes immediate impact in his return

Papi makes immediate impact in his return

Papi makes immediate impact in his return
BOSTON -- David Ortiz fulfilled his promise to put on a show in his first game with the Red Sox in over a month.

"You all can sit back and enjoy the show tonight," Ortiz said before Friday's 4-3 win over the Royals in the series opener.

In the lineup for the first time since straining his right Achilles tendon on July 16, Ortiz lined the first pitch he saw from Royals left-hander Bruce Chen up the middle for a two-run single to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Ortiz belted a double in his next at-bat, also on the first offering from Chen. "He looked like a sight for sore eyes," manager Bobby Valentine said. "He proved that you didn't need a rehab assignment, and the first two pitches that he saw he drove both of them nicely, one for two RBIs.

"It was very impressive. David is world-class and world-class players can do special things."

Ortiz missed 35 games with the injury and the Red Sox went 13-22 without him in the lineup. He was still bothered somewhat by the strain and was not at full strength running the bases. "We'll see how it goes the next couple of days," Ortiz said. "I want to give it a try and see how it feels the next couple days."

Still, the Red Sox are glad to have their slugger back no matter how healthy he is. Ortiz leads the club with a .318 average and 23 home runs. He also has a 12-game hitting streak.

"It's big. Anytime he's in the lineup, it's big for us," said starter Jon Lester, who won his eighth game of the season. "He's a big offensive threat. Obviously, he's a presence. The presence is more than anything. You can tell it's still bothering him a little bit, but he's still out there doing what he can."

In a corresponding roster move, the Red Sox optioned right-hander Junichi Tazawa to Triple-A Pawtucket.