Ortiz leaves game early with back stiffness

Ortiz leaves game early with back stiffness
August 21, 2013, 9:30 pm
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Even a 12-1 victory can have some negative news.

David Ortiz, who started at first base Wednesday, came out of the game in the fifth inning, felled by what Red Sox manager John Farrell described as "general soreness and a little bit of lower back [stiffness].''
     
Mike Napoli finished at first base for the Sox.
     
"Two of three days on his feet at first base,'' noted Farrell, "and not accustomed to it.''
     
Playing six straight games in National League ballparks, the Red Sox are trying their best to balance getting Ortiz and his bat into the lineup as much as possible without risking anything physical happening to him.
     
After an off-day Thursday, the Sox have three more games under N.L. rules in Los Angeles beginning Friday. Earlier this week, Farrell spoke of his desire to get Ortiz at first in two of the three games at Dodger Stadium, too.
     
"We'll see where he's at,'' said Farrell. "We certainly have to factor his back) in. He'll be a big part of that as we make those decisions.''
     
[The back] kind of grabbed me a little bit in my first at-bat'' said Ortiz, who was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. "I was trying to fight through it, but it kept getting tight. It's not anyhting bad. It's just a little tight. We were winning [big] and I just decided to have the manager pull me out because I wasn't feeling great.''
     
Ortiz predicted that he would be "fine'' this weekend in Los Angeles.
     
"I'm not really concerned about it,'' he said. "I think it will be fine.''
     
Ortiz said he first felt some discomfort on the team's flight from Boston to San Francisco Monday morning.
     
"I came out of the airplane like that,'' he said. "But I feel it when I play and when I'm hitting. Hopefully, it goes away.''
     
Ortiz got some ice on his back and soaked in a cold tub after the game and said he felt immediate improvement.