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Originally published Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 8:25 PM

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Torrid Ortiz sparks surging Red Sox

David Ortiz had two hits and three runs batted in to extend his torrid start after a long layoff as the Boston Red Sox beat the struggling...

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BOSTON — David Ortiz had two hits and three runs batted in to extend his torrid start after a long layoff as the Boston Red Sox beat the struggling Houston Astros 8-4 on Saturday night.

It was 14th win in 19 games for the surging Red Sox (17-7). Boston can tie a club record for the most wins in April by completing a four-game sweep over Houston (7-17) on Sunday.

Boston matched its best start since 2002 with its fourth straight win.

Ortiz is hitting .519 (14 of 27) with two homers and nine RBI since getting back into the lineup last Saturday. He missed 71 of the final 72 games last season and all of spring training with a heel injury.

"He's doing things that look to him to be very easy, but it's hard to imagine or even script out that he'd have this kind of performance considering the layoff," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.


• The banged-up New York Yankees put pitcher Ivan Nova (triceps) and catcher Francisco Cervelli (broken hand) on the 15-day disabled list. Cervelli is expected to miss at least six weeks.

• Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jose Molina is day to day with a right quad bruise after leaving Saturday's game in the fourth inning against the Chicago White Sox.

• The Toronto Blue Jays expect right-hander Josh Johnson (triceps) to return to the rotation late next week.

• Right-hander Stephen Fife (shoulder bursitis) is going from the Los Angeles Dodgers' starting rotation to the DL.

• Pittsburgh Pirates left-hander Jonathan Sanchez was suspended for six games and fined for hitting Allen Craig with a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.

• St. Louis Cardinals closer Jason Motte threw for the first time in five weeks, a step toward determining if he will need season-ending surgery on his right elbow.

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