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David Ortiz honored in spring home finale; Red Sox lose

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- David Ortiz should probably get used to this.

On the occasion of his final spring training home game Monday, the retiring Boston Red Sox slugger was feted with a 10-minute pregame ceremony and showered with going-away presents, including a personalized golf cart with serious horsepower and a Florida license plate that read, "BIG PAPI."

"Whenever somebody comes to you with a gift, it's always welcomed, right?" Ortiz said. "The Red Sox and the city of Fort Myers, I really thank them for being so nice."

Consider this a prelude to the farewell tour that will follow Ortiz through his final season. He likely will be honored in every ballpark across the majors in a fashion similar to New York Yankees icons Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

In the Fort Myers version, Ortiz's No. 34 was painted along both foul lines and a "THANK YOU DAVID" banner was posted on the replica Green Monster. The Red Sox and Lee County commissioner John Manning presented Ortiz with a seat from each of Fort Myers' three ballparks -- Hammond Stadium (Minnesota Twins), City of Palms Park (the Red Sox' former stadium) and JetBlue Park -- and a street sign to commemorate the renaming of a road in the Fenway South complex as "David Ortiz Way."

Ortiz has spent 20 consecutive spring trainings in Fort Myers, dating to 1997, when he was coming up with the Twins. It has never been his favorite time of year, especially as he has gotten older.

"I'm not going to miss spring training much," the 40-year-old designated hitter said. "I'm not a big fan of spring training anymore. But I really like Fort Myers."

Ortiz went 0-for-3 in a 5-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, striking out in his final at-bat. He's 6-for-35 (.171) with one double this spring, but the Red Sox learned long ago not to read too much into Ortiz's spring results.

And when he came out of the game after the sixth inning, Ortiz was whisked to the clubhouse in his new golf cart, which is painted red and blue with '34' sides and the Dominican flag on the roof.

"That one is kind of fast," Ortiz said, "so I'm going to send it to the Dominican so I'm able to drive it."

Asked what he plans to do with all the gifts he will probably get this year, Ortiz shared advice he received from Rivera.

"Mariano told me to be able to have a warehouse so you can put all of them over there," he said with a laugh.

Porcello pounded: In his penultimate spring start, right-hander Rick Porcello allowed five runs on 10 hits, including homers by Xavier Avery, Nolan Reimold and Francisco Pena. Porcello has a 9.77 ERA in four Grapefruit League starts. Although he's unconcerned about the results, manager John Farrell issued a challenge.

"He's capable of better. He has shown that," Farrell said. "We need Rick to pitch to his strengths, which are continually worked on. He's working at it to continue to refine it and gain that consistency. We need him to be a little bit more consistent."

Panda watch: After five days of being hampered by lower back stiffness, third baseman Pablo Sandoval played five innings in a Triple-A game and went 0-for-3. He's scheduled to play in a Grapefruit League game Tuesday against the Twins.

Sandoval is still competing for the everyday third-base job with Travis Shaw, who is batting .353 (28-for-51) this spring despite going hitless in his past 13 at-bats.

Marmol released: Rather than sending veteran reliever Carlos Marmol to Triple-A, the Red Sox released him after he walked seven batters in four innings and posted a 6.75 ERA. The ex-Chicago Cubs closer's fate likely was sealed last Saturday, when he walked three batters, gave up one hit, uncorked a wild pitch and didn't record an out in an appearance against the Orioles.

"Was there space available in [Triple-A] to continue on?" Farrell said. "Given the last two or three appearances, we felt like this was the decision that allowed him to find another place. We couldn't guarantee innings or a spot in the coming weeks."

The Red Sox also optioned infielder Deven Marrero to Triple-A and reassigned infielder Josh Rutledge, first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig, outfielder Brennan Boesch, catchers Dan Butler and Sandy Leon and reliever Anthony Varvaro to minor league camp.

On deck: The Red Sox will make the short trip across town to face the Twins at 1:05 p.m. ET Tuesday. Right-hander Joe Kelly will face off against Minnesota lefty Tommy Milone.