Sports

Will rest cure what ails Ortiz?

Terry Francona is giving Big Papi an extended rest this weekend.

The Red Sox manager said that struggling David Ortiz would miss the final two games of the road trip and not start again until Tuesday, when the Red Sox begin a three-game series against the AL East-leading Blue Jays.

Francona stressed that he’s not benching his slugger, as some have suggested. He just wants to give Ortiz a chance to clear his head and relax.

“I really want to get him through the off day,” Francona said. “I think it’s good for him.”

Francona also hinted Daisuke Matsuzaka could come off the disabled list soon.

Matsuzaka made his third rehab start Friday. His next step is to rejoin the Red Sox in Boston after the off day Monday.

“Yeah, I think you can pretty much expect him to pitch,” Francona said.

Francona said that Kevin Youkilis would begin a rehab assignment Monday with Triple-A Pawtucket as he recovers from an oblique strain.

Delgado on DL

The New York Mets are down a key man in the heart of their batting order, and Carlos Delgado could be out for a prolonged period of time.

The slugger was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an impingement of his right hip, and Mets manager Jerry Manuel believes it could be a while before he’s back.

Short hops

Rangers closer Frank Francisco was put on the 15-day disabled list, even after completing a bullpen session in which he felt no pain. … Angels right-hander John Lackey was activated from the disabled list to make his season debut. ... Eric Hacker, recently designated for assignment by the Yankees, has been traded to the Pirates for Romulo Sanchez in a swap of minor league right-handers. ... Chris Carpenter could return to the Cardinals’ rotation early next week after a rainout forced a reassessment of the rotation. ... Washington starter Scott Olsen had an MRI on his throwing shoulder, another setback for the worst pitching staff in the National League. ... White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin was scratched from the lineup with the sore left heel that kept him from starting two games this week. ... Yankees reliever Brian Bruney is scheduled to make a rehab appearance with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre today and could be activated before Tuesday’s game.

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