BALTIMORE -- David Ortiz apparently found a unique elixir for his sore left foot: A trip to Camden Yards.
Ortiz has six home runs in his last nine games in Baltimore, so after sitting out Sunday in Toronto, the Boston Red Sox slugger returned to the lineup for a Memorial Day matinee against the Orioles, the opener of a four-game series between the top two teams in the American League East.
"He's good to go today," said manager John Farrell, who used Ortiz's return to give first baseman Hanley Ramirez a rare day off against Orioles right-hander Tyler Wilson. Travis Shaw is starting at first base, while utility infielder Marco Hernandez is playing third.
In the fifth inning Saturday in Toronto, Ortiz struck out on a pitch that hit him on the top of the left foot. X-rays were negative, and he remained in the game to hit a ninth-inning solo homer that gave the Red Sox a fleeting lead in a 10-9 loss.
But the pain in Ortiz's foot intensified Saturday night, so much so that he said he "needed help to get up" from dinner at a restaurant Saturday night. Ortiz was a late scratch Sunday and wasn't used despite numerous pinch-hitting opportunities in an 11-inning, 5-3 victory over the Blue Jays.
According to Farrell, Ortiz fouled a pitch off the same spot on his left foot last week. The incident Saturday only exacerbated the injury.
Ortiz is off to the best start of his career in what's expected to be his final season. Entering play Monday, the 40-year-old designated hitter leads the majors with a 1.140 OPS and 46 RBI, and ranks third in the AL in batting average (.339) and fifth in home runs (13).