4/23/2013 11:39 P.M. ET
Conditions a factor in giving Ortiz day off
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
BOSTON -- After starting three straight days in his return from the disabled list, David Ortiz was not in Boston's starting lineup for Tuesday night's game against the Oakland Athletics.
Don't panic, Red Sox fans. It was just a maintenance day off, particularly when you consider the weather conditions, which were bitter, raw and wet.
"Too cold for an old man," quipped Ortiz.
The left-handed-hitting slugger knows that he'll have to take periodic days off in his return from right Achilles woes.
"That's the way it's going to be for the next little while, just to rest it," Ortiz said. "They don't want me to be going too crazy until I get used to it. It's getting better."
Ortiz can only hope the weather improves as much as his heel.
"Last night was too cold," said Ortiz. "It was 38 [degrees] but at one point when I was hitting, the ball was thrown and I blinked because the wind was hitting my face so hard."
Meanwhile, manager John Farrell will just try to use logic to dictate when Ortiz is out of the lineup.
"No, [he's] not hurting," Farrell said. "Scheduled down day and combine that with the weather conditions, this was kind of a logical day in, I don't want to say his rotation, but the availability to give him a blow."
Bard re-joins Red Sox bullpen
BOSTON -- Daniel Bard, who was once the top setup man for the Red Sox, re-joined the club in time for Wednesday's 4:05 p.m. ET contest against the Oakland Athletics.
Bard had been pitching for Double-A Portland after being optioned toward the end of Spring Training.
Red Sox manager John Farrell announced after Tuesday night's game that knuckleballer Steven Wright was optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket and added that a corresponding roster move would be made Wednesday.
That move was used to summon Bard, who was one of the top relievers in the American League from 2009-11.
Bard tried to make the transition to a starting role last season but got lost mechanically. That experiment ended in early June, and Bard had trouble regaining his feel and confidence both in Triple-A and when he was recalled by the Red Sox late in the season.
The power righty made some strides during Spring Training, but he was not consistent enough to make the team.
It is unclear if Bard's stint in Boston will be temporary while the Red Sox are short on relievers or if he will stay for an extended period.
Bard pitched a scoreless sixth inning for Portland on Tuesday. He was unscored on in his last five outings and has a 4.00 ERA over eight outings. In nine innings, Bard has four strikeouts and four walks.
Lackey hopes to return Sunday at Fenway vs. Astros
BOSTON -- John Lackey's first Minor League rehab game went so well that the right-hander suspects there won't be another one.
Assuming everything goes smoothly the next couple of days, look for Lackey to take the ball for the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park against the Astros.
"Oh, I know [where I'll be pitching]," said Lackey. "I just can't tell you guys. I'm going to get some treatment and that sort of stuff. I'm sure they'll tell you guys something here in the next day or so."
Manager John Farrell did hint that the club could send Lackey to Fenway Park next time out instead of back to the Minors.
"Right now, his scheduled bullpen [session] would be on Thursday, and provided he comes out of that, which we fully expect him to come out of that OK, we'll have an update on where his next start would be and the potential to start here for us is a real one," Farrell said.
On April 6, in his first regular-season start since Tommy John surgery, Lackey sustained a strained right bicep against the Blue Jays.
Lackey fired 3 2/3 shutout innings at Double-A Portland on Monday, throwing 67 pitches.
"I felt pretty good," said Lackey. "It was pretty cold, so it was a pretty good test to get out there and get through that in the cold, so it was good. I didn't have any issues. I was good in between innings and felt like I was locating pretty good."
Obviously, Lackey will be on a pitch count his first start back. Five innings would probably be realistic of what the Red Sox are hoping for.
"He got up and down four times and we feel like, if he were to make that start here, we would have multi-inning protection behind him," Farrell said. "That's where we're at today. I think Thursday's bullpen will have a lot to say as far as our next step."
Gomes welcomes daughter, lands SI cover
BOSTON -- Jonny Gomes became a father for the third time on Monday morning, as his wife Kristi delivered a baby girl.
Capri Gomes weighed in at eight pounds and one ounce, measuring at 20 inches. She was born at 8:35 a.m ET.
Gomes was on the bench for Monday night's game in case he was needed, but he did not play. He went back to the hospital as soon as the game ended.
He started Tuesday night as the designated hitter against right-hander Bartolo Colon.
Given the timing of everything that has been going on of late, Gomes is pleased that Capri's birth certificate will note that she was born in Boston.
"Our other two kids were born back home in Arizona," said Gomes. "This one was born in Boston and with everything that's gone on, it will be a nice little story for her."
In a few years, Capri will be able to appreciate another keepsake. She will notice that her father was on the cover of Sports Illustrated the week she was born.
Gomes will be on this week's northeast regional cover of the magazine with his arms in triumph at both sides of his helmet with the headline "STRONG" in all capital red letters, with the subhead, "TRIUMPH AFTER TRAGEDY" just below.
In the wake of the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon, the Red Sox have been visible in their support of the community, and no player has exemplified that more than Gomes.