David Ortiz was scratched from Thursday’s series finale against the Braves at Fenway Park in a precautionary move because of a right calf injury.
A.J. Pierzynski will serve as the designated hitter, batting fourth, with David Ross batting eighth and catching for Jake Peavy.
Ortiz played first base Monday and Tuesday in Atlanta, his first games in the field this season.
“Precautionary in nature,” said manager John Farrell. “Just have to manage the condition and the situation he’s dealing with.”
The calf injury is in the same leg in which Ortiz, 38, had an Achilles injury in 2012 that limited him to just 90 games.
“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 optimistic Ortiz will be back in the lineup Friday for the start of a three-game series against the Rays at Fenway. In 50 games this season, Ortiz is batting .270 with 12 home runs, 30 RBI, a .369 on-base percentage, and .508 slugging percentage. But in six games against the Rays this season, he is batting just .190/.292/.238.
“This is precautionary,” said Farrell. “Just want to not put him at risk any further.”
Pierzynski is riding a seven-game hitting streak in which he is batting .387, going 12-for-31.
Ross has caught three of Peavy’s starts this season. Peavy is 0-1 in those games while the Sox are 1-2.