The designated hitter was in the fifth spot against the New York Yankees after going 0 for 7 and leaving three runners in scoring position.
After Boston lost 6-4 Tuesday night, Ortiz initially declined to talk with reporters. He then reacted to a question about his poor start.
"What's up with that, man?" he said. In an expletive-filled tirade, the slugger said there were still 160 games left.
Before Wednesday's game, manager Terry Francona reacted calmly to his star's remarks.
"Sometimes guys get touchy after a game," he said. "That's why I don't normally pay much attention to it."
Last season, Ortiz had one homer, 21 RBIs and a .188 batting average in his first 49 games. Then from June 6 to the end of the regular season, he led the AL with 27 homers, tied for the league lead with 78 RBIs and hit .266. But he finished at .238, and his 28 homers and 99 RBIs were the second fewest in his first seven seasons with Boston.
"He's done a lot of good things here and I think he felt like maybe some people bailed on him last year," Francona said.
The left-handed hitting Ortiz has done much better against righty pitchers, hitting .290 for his career against them compared with .261 against lefties. In 2009, he batted .250 against righties and .212 against lefties.
But going into Wednesday night's game, he had a .367 career average in 49 at bats against lefty Andy Pettitte, New York's starter. Francona went with Ortiz over righty Mike Lowell, was hitting .345 in 29 at bats against Pettitte.
"We want (players) to walk up (to bat) and feel confident. I don't want David looking over his shoulder," Francona said.