BOSTON -- Red Sox left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury took perhaps his most significant step since being placed on the disabled list when he participated in batting practice before Tuesday's game against the Angels. It is a step that Ellsbury and the club had been hoping would occur for several days.

The dynamic leadoff man has been out since April 11, when he suffered a hairline fracture in four of his left ribs following a collision with teammate Adrian Beltre. Assuming Ellsbury suffers no setbacks, he should be on track to get in some kind of game action in the near future, even if it's an abbreviated Minor League rehab assignment.

Center fielder Mike Cameron, who is on the disabled list with a lower abdominal strain, also seems to be nearing the point of getting into games. Cameron has been taking batting practice and shagging fly balls for the past few days.

"Cam is really doing well," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "The intensity continues to build. We'll just continue to monitor how quickly he's coming and certainly talk to him more about -- towards the end of the week -- what we think is in his best interest. But he's doing very well."

While the Red Sox miss both players, Ellsbury's impact has been perhaps more noticeable because of the way he can change a game with his speed.

"Oh sure, he gives our team a different look," Francona said. "He's that guy that can change the game. All the concerns we've had with [Carl] Crawford or whoever, he does the same thing to other teams."

The Red Sox did get one outfielder back in the mix Tuesday, as Jeremy Hermida started in left field. Hermida had been out with a sore left quad.

Papi's chance to be hero snuffed out

BOSTON -- David Ortiz had a golden chance to bust out of his early-season slump and become a hero for the Red Sox on Tuesday night. With the game locked in a tie in the bottom of the eighth, the slugger stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and nobody out.

The end result typified the way things have been going for him. After working the count to 2-0, Ortiz hit the ball crisply, but right at second baseman Howard Kendrick, who turned a 4-2-3 double play.

For Ortiz, it capped an 0-for-4 night which consisted of two strikeouts and two double plays. The lefty designated hitter is batting .149 with three homers and six RBIs.

The Red Sox were able to pick Ortiz up as Jeremy Hermida followed with a three-run double to left, fueling a 5-1 victory over the Angels.

"He was one of the first guys that came up and said, 'Way to pick me up.' That shows what kind of teammate he is and what kind of guy he is," said Hermida. "There's only so much you can do right there. He squared up the ball, and unfortunately it was right at somebody. Like I said, fortunately we were able to come through and get the knock when we needed it."

Of late, manager Terry Francona has been going with a platoon at DH. Ortiz has been starting against righties, while Mike Lowell (.317 average, one homer, nine RBIs) has been getting the nod against lefties.

Francona wasn't ready to say in the aftermath of Tuesday's win who will start at DH on Wednesday against right-hander Joel Pineiro.

"This was kind of an exciting game. I don't know how many other places you have to give your lineup out the night before," Francona said.

But the manager did not deny that the situation is a bit of a dilemma.

"We have Mikey Lowell sitting over there, he's a good hitter," Francona said. "At the same time, running away from David is not the best answer in my opinion. Again, we've tried to balance it the best we can, but we need him to hit as opposed to running away from him."

Bonser ready to start back up

BOSTON -- Boof Bonser, a somewhat forgotten man who could end up helping the Red Sox's bullpen this season, will resume his Minor League rehab assignment on Friday, when he pitches for Triple-A Pawtucket.

Bonser will throw a side session on Wednesday. The righty missed all of last season recovering from right rotator cuff and labrum surgery. He suffered a right groin injury late in Spring Training that led to his stint on the disabled list. Bonser made two starts for Triple-A Pawtucket earlier in the season and was hit hard, giving up 11 hits and 12 runs over 6 1/3 innings. Following the second outing -- which took place on April 13 -- Bonser was shut down with shoulder stiffness.

Now he's ready to build back up. Francona said that the plan is to get Bonser stretched out so the Red Sox have options with how to use him.