TORONTO -- After missing two games due to an injured foot, David Ortiz is back in the Red Sox lineup on Wednesday, hitting third and in his customary DH position.
Ortiz fouled a ball off his right foot in the fourth inning of Sunday's game against the Mariners. He had to be removed for a pinch runner two innings later when the clearly hobbled slugger could only make it to first base on a deep drive to the outfield.
Once the swelling began to subside on Monday, however, Ortiz felt confident that he wouldn't be sidelined for long.
"I spoke to him this morning and he felt better," manager John Farrell said Wednesday. "We made sure he went through some treatment and some running here today and he's good to go."
It may be no surprise that Ortiz wanted a chance to hit at the Rogers Centre, where he has 37 homers and 96 RBIs over 416 career at-bats. Those 37 homers are the most Ortiz has hit at any ballpark over his career except for Fenway Park.
Escobar had a two-day stint on the Red Sox roster earlier this month, though he has yet to appear in a major league game. He has a 4.28 ERA in five starts with Pawtucket, a step up from the 5.11 ERA he posted in 20 starts for the Giants' Triple-A affiliate (in the very hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League) earlier this season. Escobar and Hembree both were acquired from the Giants last month in the trade that sent Jake Peavy to San Francisco.
Though Escobar has pitched almost exclusively as a starter throughout his career, Farrell said that the southpaw will be used in a relief role and isn't a candidate for the open starting spot on Friday against the Rays.
Escobar is "bullpen depth -- we've got to cover ourselves," Farrell said, noting how often the relief corps has been used recently.
Hembree was recalled on Sunday and pitched in two games during his brief call-up. He had a tough outing in mop-up duty on Tuesday, allowing three 11th-inning runs in Boston's 11-7 victory over the Blue Jays.
* Yoenis Cespedes is getting the day off and is out of the starting lineup for just the second time since joining the Red Sox earlier this month.
"We're just rotating guys through," Farrell said. "[It's] a chance to get him off his feet for a day and he'll be available at any point in time during the game."
* Xander Bogaerts has passed his concussion tests and looks set to be activated from the seven-day concussion DL as soon as he's eligible on Friday, Farrell said. The infielder should be ready to rejoin the Sox lineup on Saturday in Tampa, with minimal training required to get him back into game shape.
"He's been doing some running and throwing, he's on his way to Florida right now," Farrell said. "He'll do a full workday on Friday and he'll be ready for Saturday."