© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

05/05/08 6:40 PM ET

Sox get lineup boost with Ortiz back

Designated hitter returns to No. 3 spot after resting right knee

DETROIT -- Designated hitter David Ortiz returned to the Red Sox lineup on Monday night against the Tigers after sitting out Sunday's game with tightness in his surgically repaired right knee.

Ortiz, who had his knee repaired in the offseason and also bruised the knee earlier this season sliding into first base, told Red Sox manager Terry Francona before Monday's game that the knee felt good enough to play. He will bat in his customary No. 3 spot in the Boston order.

With a game-time temperature around 70 degrees, Francona said the warmer weather should help Ortiz keep the knee loose.

"I think as the weather gets warmer, that's one thing that will really help," Francona said before Monday's nationally televised game. "The weather didn't help the last couple nights. He was on-base a bunch the other night, and he kind of felt it."

The team wants to be careful with its star DH, so Ortiz is considered questionable for Tuesday's game. It depends how his knee reacts to playing on Monday.

"We're going to look at the broad picture, not run him into the ground," Francona said.

Ortiz started the season slow, but has been on a roll lately. He has hit safely in 14 of his last 17 games, hitting .301 with four home runs and 21 RBIs in that span. He had at least one RBI in 10 of his last 13 games.

Scott McNeish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.