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Ortiz feeling back in groove

Ortiz feeling back in groove

BOSTON -- The full-on hot streak has not come just yet for David Ortiz, but the slugging designated hitter has produced a little more in recent days. There's a good reason for that.

"I feel great right now," Ortiz said before Wednesday's 3-2 loss. "I feel the way I like to be right now."

Ortiz exemplified that by generating the only two hits Boston had against Toronto starter Shaun Marcum, who went seven innings. Ortiz hit two line-drive singles and got his average to an even .200 for the first time all season.

In May, Ortiz is hitting .310 with three homers and seven RBIs. His overall season numbers (four homers, 11 RBIs entering Wednesday) don't look quite as nice.

"He's getting closer and closer," said Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan. "I don't think he's completely where he wants to be, but he's feeling a lot more confident in the box. He's a little more confident getting deeper in the counts."

When did his swing start feeling better?

"I would say after the last road trip. I figured a lot of things out and you can see the difference," said Ortiz. "I'm just not playing every day right now."

But Ortiz is also confident that the at-bats will come once he starts to produce at a more dramatic rate.

"It's May 11 and we play all the way until October," Ortiz said. "I'm one of those guys that ... I've made my whole season in two months. When I first got here [in 2003], I didn't even start playing every day until the second half of the season."

Magadan isn't surprised by Ortiz's mini-resurgence because he has seen the work that has gone into it.

"He's putting consistently good swings on balls," Magadan said. "He's putting himself in a good position to put a good swing on the ball. He's ready on time. He's a little more direct to the ball. The guys that are throwing 93, 94, 95, he's getting to those pitches. He's seeing the offspeed [pitches] better. When you don't have to start earlier or cheat to get to the hard stuff, you tend to take the nasty breaking balls. He's done a better job of that. He's just put a lot of hard work in, and you're starting to see the results of that now."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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