He has 28 hits in April, a new career high for the month - with six games still left to be played. He has hit safely in 13 of Boston's 16 games, with nine multiple-hit games. His 28 hits are the most by a Red Sox player through the first 16 games of the season in 75 years (Joe Cronin, 30 in 1937; looking ahead to tonight, Cronin had 31 hits through 17 games).
Ortiz did set the club record for most hits through the first 16 games for a left-handed hitter, besting Harry Lord's 27 hits in 1910.
I'm having so much fun playing the game again. I love to be able to do things on the field that I couldn't do before. I'm running the bases better and harder [he says he has lost 25 pounds], hitting lefthanded pitchers and going the other way. Everything I've tried to get better with, I'm getting better with. ... I have given everything I have every minute I've played for the Boston Red Sox because I love the name. I love wearing that uniform. That means so much to me to wear it, and wear it for the rest of my career. ...
I don't even care about the shift anymore. When they do it, they're going to pitch me a certain way, but I know they're going to give me one pitch on the outside part of the plate, and that I try to drive to the opposite field. And if I keep doing that, they're going to pitch me in, in, and more in, and that's fine with me, too. ... I still have my power, but what's important for me is to get on base and drive in runs.
I'm a bad [expletive]. That's what it is.
Carl Crawford is getting a second opinion on his sore left elbow. Bobby Valentine: "He's been a little concerned." ... Various Red Sox media tweets posted at SoSH sound ominous.
Daisuke Matsuzaka made his first rehab start on Monday, putting up a 4-6-3-0-3 line for Salem (A); he threw either 57 or 58 pitches. His next start will be on Saturday for Portland (AA).
In his ten games since Jacoby Ellsbury was injured, Mike Aviles is hitting .395/.425/.737/1.162.
Mark Melancon has pitched in three games for Pawtucket: 3.1-3-0-0-6. He says he needs to pitch inside more often. "I've just got to be more aggressive ... It's not too complicated."
The Elias Sports Bureau reports that Cody Ross's two home runs on Monday night made him the first Red Sox player with a tying and winning home run, each in the seventh inning or later, since Dwight Evans on June 23, 1990.