David Ortiz is once again defending his reputation.
With the designated hitter off to a hot start, whispers are mounting again that Ortiz is using performance-enhancing drugs.
Ortiz denied the allegations.
“They test me all the time,” he told the Boston Globe in a lengthy interview. “They make you pee and they test your blood, too. This year I would say I’ve probably been tested five times, peeing. Blood, just once. That was in spring training. They don’t warn you. They just show up.”
He said hard work is the key to his success, which had seen him hit in his first 15 games before he went 0-for-5 Wednesday in Boston’s 15-8 loss to the Minnesota Twins.
Ortiz’s average fell to .381. He has four homers and 17 RBI after missing the first 15 games due to a heel ailment.
Dating back to last season, Ortiz had a 27-game hitting before his Wednesday oh-fer. Counting his final 12 games of 2012, Ortiz went 41-for-97 (.423) during the 27-game run. He missed 71 of the final 72 games last year and all of spring training because of his heel woes.
The Boston Red Sox moved right-hander Joel Hanrahan to the 60-day disabled list on Thursday, indicating that the pitcher might need elbow surgery.
Hanrahan, who started the season as the Red Sox’s closer, was shut down Tuesday with a flexor-pronator strain in the forearm and bruising on the inside of his elbow.
Manager John Farrell didn’t indicate whether Hanrahan might need surgery or would be able to rehab the elbow, saying he might know more Friday. He also could not answer definitively whether ligament damage was involved.
The Red Sox called up right-hander Jose De La Torre from Triple-A Pawtucket and sent down pitcher Allen Webster to clear roster space to replace Hanrahan.
Farrell announced Wednesday that Junichi Tazawa would assume the closer’s role.
RHP Allen Webster, who pitched six innings and yielded two earned runs in his first major-league start April 21, lasted only 1 2/3 innings and was hammered for eight runs Wednesday night. He threw 54 pitches and gave up six hits, including two homers, and walked three as his ERA went from 3.00 to 11.74. He was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket after the game.
RHP Clay Buchholz was likely using a brand of sunscreen mixed with resin when he was accused by two Toronto broadcasters, including Jack Morris, of throwing a spitter May 1, according to a Yahoo report. “Two veteran pitchers and one source close to the Red Sox told Yahoo! Sports that about 90 percent of major-league pitchers use some form of spray-on sunscreen — almost always BullFrog brand — that when combined with powdered resin gives them a far superior grip on the ball,” the report said. Buchholz declined comment, but the Boston Globe reported a Red Sox source saying pitchers often use sunscreen for a better grip, especially in inclement weather.
LHP Franklin Morales, on a rehab assignment aimed at him making his 2013 debut (back trouble), worked two innings for Double-A Portland on Wednesday night. He allowed two hits and struck out three. … Jonny Gomes drove in five runs Wednesday night, four with his fourth career grand slam. His third also came against the Twins, at Minnesota last year. … RHP Joel Hanrahan (right forearm strain) went on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. Hanrahan has been shut down from throwing for an unspecified period of time.