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Ortiz exceeds expectations in return

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BOSTON -- For David Ortiz, staying healthy goes beyond the physical. The 37-year-old Red Sox designated hitter is also keeping an open and forthright line of communication with his manager to help keep him on the field.

It's that honesty that manager John Farrell credits with Ortiz staying ahead of any potential problems.

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"If he's feeling like he's starting to feel fatigued or he's feeling any additional soreness or he can't loosen up either in between at-bats or day to day, he's been very honest and forthright with that," Farrell said. "Because of that we've been able to stay ahead of that when he needs a day."

Ever since missing the first 15 games of the season with an Achilles injury, Ortiz is hitting .351 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs.

He's taken four days off since his return, but overall Farrell said Ortiz's health has exceeded expectations. The veteran even stole third base for the first time in his career Wednesday against the White Sox.

"He's in a good place physically," he said. "The overall durability has been a little bit better than I anticipated initially."

Michael Periatt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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