Boston, MA – David Ortiz "was just real sore" on Saturday, according to Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. Ortiz was unavailable in Boston's 10-9 loss in 12 innings to the Royals, one day after his return from a DL stint of more than five weeks due to an injured right Achilles. He did not take batting practice.
After the contest, Ortiz met with Valentine and GM Ben Cherington, presumably to discuss the appropriate course of action to allow him to heal.
Prior to the game, Valentine had said that the Sox were planning on having Ortiz play every other day while also keeping him available as a pinch-hitter, though noting, "If it's going to jeopardize his health, [pinch-hitting] would not be done."
Ortiz, 36, is hitting .318 with a .415 OBP, .611 slugging mark (tops in the AL) and 1.026 OPS (also tops in the AL), along with 23 homers in 90 games. Friday marked his first game since suffering his Achilles injury in a July 16 contest against the White Sox.
Valentine said that Ortiz -- eligible for free agency this offseason -- would play unless the Sox' doctors determined that doing so risked further injury.
"I think what would be best for David is if he's healthy, for him to make sure that everyone knows he's healthy for the rest of the season. It wouldn't be my shutting him down. If in fact that's what the medical staff and David thought was best for him this year and for his career then that might have to happen," said Valentine. "The medical staff has assured me, Ben and David that the rupturing of an Achilles is highly unlikely, even though it's highly unlikely for everyone and people do tear that Achilles tendon. He's in the same category as you are as far as it rupturing while he's running. But there's some pain to deal with. If in fact, upon further review, that possibility increases, I'd think we wouldn���t allow it to happen."
Also injured in the loss was right fielder Cody Ross, who twisted his knee on a game-tying triple in Kansas City's 6-run seventh inning. He came out of the game for rookie Che-Hsuan Lin.
"He said he's had it before and he's come back [and played] with it," Valentine said after the game.