One day after receiving an injection of Marcaine in his aching right heel Monday night, Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz felt marked improvement Tuesday. He may even be ready to play by the weekend.

Ortiz jogged in the outfield and put on a display of power in batting practice, leaving him optimistic about being ready to return from the disabled list, possibly before Sunday's game in Cleveland.

"Hopefully," Ortiz said. "I'm looking at maybe the last game over there (Sunday). Hopefully I'll keep feeling like I feel right now."

Sidelined since July 17 because of a strained right Achilles, Ortiz got the injection to numb the area and reduce the swelling that hadn't subsided after he attempted agility drills last week. He felt better during batting practice but noted his heel never has flared up while hitting.

The truest test will come today when he escalates his running and agility workouts.

"(Tuesday) was the first time I ran a little faster than what I've been doing," Ortiz said. "I still have that little sensation there, but it's improving, getting better. This is an injury that takes time. But the way I feel, it seems like it's healing fast compared to what people tell you about it."

Ortiz is hopeful of not needing to go on a minor league rehab assignment before he's reinstated from the disabled list.

"Trust me, I'm dying," Ortiz said. "I want to be playing. It's not fun watching, especially knowing this ballclub needs me the most. Every time we win a game, it makes me feel better. Those games you see we lose by one or two runs, it gets in your head a little bit because you think you could have done something."

Boston's designated hitter Monday, Cody Ross, went 2-for-4, but the Red Sox lost 6-3 to the Texas Rangers.