David Ortiz was in the original lineup the Red Sox posted outside the clubhouse at 3 p.m. Thursday. But that changed about an hour later when he was scratched with a sore right calf.
A.J. Pierzynski will bat fourth and be the designated hitter for Thursday’s game against the Atlanta Braves at Fenway Park.
The 38-year-old Ortiz played his first two games in the field Monday and Tuesday, putting in 18 innings at first base in Atlanta. He beat out an infield single in third inning Wednesday against the Braves in Boston.
“Precautionary in nature,” said manager John Farrell. “Just have to manage the condition and the situation he’s dealing with.”
Ortiz was out of the lineup against the Rays last Saturday because of the calf issue. He pinch hit in that game.
Ortiz spent the final few months of the 2012 season with a strain of his right Achilles’ tendon and has received regular treatment for that since.
“Every report I have is that it’s a separate issue,” Farrell said. “But yet, you’re dealing with a lower extremity. I just think coming off the volume [of play], David’s been great in terms of the preventative maintenance and the care that’s he’s got to go through.
“It was best to hold him out tonight.”
Farrell is hopeful that Ortiz will be back in the lineup Friday. He is hitting .270 with 12 home runs and 30 RBIs over 50 games.
“This is precautionary,” said Farrell. “Just want to not put him at risk any further.”Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.