Ortiz encouraged by earning Friday's nod

Ortiz encouraged by earning Friday's nod

PHOENIX -- Despite a one-batter relief appearance Tuesday night, Ramon Ortiz will start as scheduled Friday night in San Diego, Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.

It will be Ortiz's first Major League start since May 26, 2007, for Minnesota. He spent 2008 playing in Japan and 2009 at Triple-A for the Giants. He made the Dodgers' Opening Day roster on a Minor League contract and has made 13 relief appearances.

He earned the start by picking up in the first inning for Charlie Haeger on Saturday and pitching five innings, allowing two runs. Manager Joe Torre inserted Ortiz after the Thursday day off to give the rest of the rotation an extra day of rest.

"I'm very happy when they told me," said Ortiz, who turns 37 this month. "It surprised me. It's been a long time, almost two years. I'm a very positive guy. I knew I could do this, being back in the big leagues. I never think about retiring or anything. My arm is good. If I throw 90 [mph], I'm OK, I'll keep going. When I can throw only 85, I'll go home."