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Ortiz scratched with sore heel

Bursitis keeps DH on bench

By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / August 17, 2011

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Initially, David Ortiz was listed as a late scratch before the first game of yesterday’s doubleheader because of illness. That, however, was not the reason the Red Sox designated hitter wound up sitting for not only that game but the nightcap as well.

Turned out Ortiz was suffering from right heel bursitis.

Ortiz, who pulled up minutes before Game 1, went for an MRI, which revealed bursitis. He was fitted for a walking boot, which will likely keep him out of today’s afternoon finale against the Rays.

“We’re going to get him out of his spikes for a couple days, get him in a little bit of a walking boot to kind of alleviate some of the pressure,’’ Sox manager Terry Francona said after last night’s 6-2 loss. “We’ll keep reevaluating him, I’m sure, every couple days. But we want to get him off that for a little while.’’

Francona said Ortiz’s right heel “had been bothering him on the road trip’’ to Minnesota and Seattle. When Ortiz went for his pregame sprints, “it kind of grabbed at him a little bit,’’ Francona said.

Francona said it was not likely to land Ortiz on the disabled list.

“It’s not going to be a DL, but we’re going to have to keep him out of there for a little bit,’’ he said. “We don’t know what that is.’’

As for the early confusion about Ortiz’s injury, Francona said, “Someone might’ve said he was sick. Somebody yelled that in the clubhouse, we were hustling [to get out for the start of Game 1].

“This was happening literally right when the umpires were coming out, so we had to hustle a little bit.’’

Francona was forced to juggle his lineup, starting Jed Lowrie at DH. It was Lowrie’s first major league start at DH and he didn’t make the most of it going 0 for 3 with a strikeout.

Carl Crawford was the DH in the second game and he struck out in three at-bats to go 0-for-6 for the day and 3 for 24 in seven games this season vs. his former team.

Glove stories The Sox threw the leather around yesterday, with Dustin Pedroia coming up with a pair of Web Gems, diving grabs in each game. Then there was the triple play the Sox turned in the fourth inning of the nightcap. After B.J. Upton and Casey Kotchman each singled, Sean Rodriguez hit a ground ball to third. Lowrie, playing third base as Kevin Youkilis rested for the game, made the force out on Upton at third, then threw to second for the out on Kotchman. Pedroia then relayed to Adrian Gonzalez for a 5-4-3 triple play. It was the first triple play for the Sox since John Valentin’s unassisted one vs. Seattle July 7, 1994.

Return of Fuld Sam Fuld’s legend seemed to be in full bloom when he went 4 for 6 with a home run, two doubles, and a triple in Tampa’s 16-5 shellacking of the Sox April 11. It came in the Fenway debut for the Durham, N.H., native. “When he first came here, it went absolutely kaboom,’’ said Rays manager Joe Maddon. “Since then, I think it’s been a gradual increase. It’s not been as dramatic as it was at that time. He’s put out enough wonderful performances on occasion that still bring him back to the forefront, but we just haven’t been playing him as often. So it’s probably my fault that the legend hasn’t grown like it had at the beginning of the season. But he’s really been great.’’ Last Wednesday, Fuld hit a walk-off triple to beat the Royals, 8-7. He drove in Elliot Johnson and scored on the play on an error by second baseman Johnny Giovatella. It marked the first time in Rays history they won on a walk-off triple. Fuld played right field in Game 1 yesterday and went 0 for 4. It was his sixth start in the last 21 games.

Hit batsman Marco Scutaro sat out both games with a stiff back, so Mike Aviles played shortstop. Aviles, who went 1 for 6 on the day, stumbled out of the batter’s box after hitting a ground ball in his second at-bat of the first game. “I was a fool and hit myself with the bat, accidentally,’’ said Aviles. “It’s fine, just gave me one of those stingers. That’s why I hobbled to first. You can go back and look as far as you want, I’ve never ever jogged to first base. I’ve always run hard. Of course, the one time it happens, the guy throws the ball off [target]. It didn’t look good, but I didn’t jog. I hit myself with the bat.’’

On the side Francona said Bobby Jenks threw a side session yesterday in Fort Myers, Fla., but the manager had yet to receive a report . . . J.D. Drew will continue work on his left shoulder impingement with some work in the batting cage today. “At some point, he’ll probably need to play a little bit, but we’ll get to that point when it’s appropriate,’’ Francona said. “But we’re not there yet. The one thing he’s been doing really well when he’s been tracking balls in the outfield is that he’s been running, so when he does come back, there’s not that initial 5-6 days of soreness, almost like spring training. So, hopefully, he won’t have to work through that too much.’’

Michael Vega can be reached at vega@globe.com.

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