Papi takes step forward by running bases

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- You can count Monday as an encouraging day in David Ortiz's comeback from a right Achilles injury.

The Red Sox slugger had his most intensive day yet running the bases. He went from home to first multiple times, while also going home to second, first to third and second to home.

"It was a good day," Ortiz said. "I was moving pretty good. I don't think I can run faster than that."

The question is how Ortiz will feel on Tuesday. If he doesn't feel a lot of soreness, he will run the bases on consecutive days for the first time, which could put him on track to play in an exhibition game within the week.

"It feels good. When I get it going, I'm fine, you know what I'm saying? The problem is once I cool off, I start getting soreness and stuff," said Ortiz. "The doctors say it will go away. It's just part of the treatment, part of [increasing the program]. I wasn't running like that, you know what I'm saying? When you're injured, you have to start getting used to it."

Ortiz still envisions himself in the starting lineup when the Red Sox open their season at Yankee Stadium on April 1.

"Oh, I want to play way before that," Ortiz said. "Of course, that's why we're doing all this stuff so I'm good to go for Opening Day. The main goal right now is to make sure I get to play down here. If I play down here, that means I'm good to go, you know what I'm saying?"