On Wednesday, the Red Sox battered the Giants to take two of three in the series. However, David Ortiz, the Sox's long-time DH who was playing first base in San Francisco, was forced from the game in the fifth inning because of tightness in his lower back.
Ortiz played first base in Monday's series opener, and during the game Ortiz experienced some back discomfort (source: Rob Bradford, WEEI). Ortiz sat out Tuesday's game but was back in the lineup at first base on Wednesday even though a lefty, Barry Zito, was on the mound for the Giants. Ortiz appeared to tweak his back during a fifth-inning strikeout against Giants reliever Jean Machi.
While back problems aren't particularly surprising for a large-bodied 37-year-old not accustomed to playing the field, it's of course worth noting that on Friday the Red Sox will begin a three-game series against the first-place Dodgers in Los Angeles and, thus, will again not have the DH at their disposal. Even if Ortiz's injury turns out to be minor, will it be so minor as to allow him to play the field?
As for the bat, the Red Sox always need Ortiz's in the lineup: He's hitting .320/.401/.576 on the season.