Notes: Ortiz MRI shows no damage
Tests confirm slugger's ailing left shoulder is simply sprained
BOSTON -- The Red Sox can breathe easier with the knowledge that there's nothing significantly wrong with David Ortiz's left shoulder beyond the strain he was diagnosed with following a tumble into second base on Friday night.
Ortiz went to Massachusetts General Hospital for a precautionary MRI on Saturday and the results revealed no structural damage. The big DH, who didn't play on Saturday, is listed as day-to-day.
"I think we thought he'd show up today and be stiff and sore," Francona said before the MRI. "Again, he was tested for strength and everything came out really well, so that's good. I don't think there were any surprises with how he showed up."
Francona was sitting on the couch in his office following his ejection when he saw the Ortiz dive into second on television.
Does the manager brace himself when he sees Ortiz getting ready to lumber into a base?
"Brace myself? I was sitting on the couch in my office. When he hit the ground, I almost fell off the couch. It was like an earthquake," said Francona. "But, yes. You know what, you have to play the game. It's a big body. A lot of times people will ask me, 'OK, they're playing behind him at first, why don't you run?' Well, we value him in the lineup. You have to play the game. A lot of times, we don't just always run 3-2 and do things like that, because that's a lot of force when he hits the ground."
As it is, Ortiz has been playing much of the season with soreness in his right leg and knee.
Lugo back up top: For the first time since June 10, Francona posted a lineup that had Julio Lugo in the leadoff spot. This came on the heels of Lugo clubbing a grand slam Friday night. In truth, Lugo has been hot for a while. He entered Saturday's game with 19 hits in his last 38 at-bats.
Francona is unsure if Lugo will stay in the leadoff spot.
"David's not playing," Francona said. "We're trying to keep the lineup balanced, depending on who we're facing and who we have available. It's been a little bit of mix and match because of some of our inconsistencies and, at times, some injuries. Our guys have been real understanding of what we're doing, which is great. I'd prefer to have a lot of consistency with the lineup, we're just not able to."
Manny moves up: After making all 91 of his starts in the cleanup spot, Sox slugger Manny Ramirez batted third Saturday and served as the DH on a day Ortiz wasn't playing.
"I think Manny was a little bit excited about it," Francona said. "I know he loves hitting third. David's not going to be in there. This isn't going to be a day we're going to pinch-hit David. You know what, let Manny hit third. It put a little smile on his face. He knows with David playing, we're not going to start flip-flopping back and forth. He was excited about it, so let's go ahead and do it."
Monster musings: In light of Friday night's miscall by the umpires -- when what should have been a three-run homer over the Monster by J.D. Drew was instead ruled as a double off the Monster -- Francona once again brought up a suggestion he has brought up in the past.
"What I wish they would do is have a fifth umpire," Francona said. "Put the fifth umpire in the booth. It would give them some maybe needed rest at times. They could put the guy in the rotation. It would give them a set of eyes on a monitor that we have. So after the game, what an incredible teaching tool."
As for Friday's call, Francona thought it should have been clear-cut.
"If you think about it, that ball can't hit like it does and be in play," Francona said. "I'm the worst math person in the world talking about these kind of angles, but it can't happen. I don't care what color that line is out there. It's just not going to hit like that.
"I asked them to check, they did. I didn't like the answer. You get put in a spot where you feel frustration. Not personal. This is a good crew. Sometimes you get mad."
On deck: Veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (10-9, 4.69 ERA) will face right-hander Jon Garland (7-6, 3.88 ERA) in Sunday's 2:05 p.m. ET finale of this four-game series at Fenway Park.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.