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News » David Ortiz to sit rest of Boston's road swing

David Ortiz to sit rest of Boston's road swing

David Ortiz to sit rest of Boston's road swing
SEATTLE (AP) - Terry Francona is giving Big Papi an extended rest this weekend.

The Red Sox manager said that struggling David Ortiz would miss the final two games of the road trip and not start again until this Tuesday, when the Red Sox begin a three-game series against the AL East-leading Blue Jays.

Francona stressed that he's not benching his slugger, as some have suggested. He just wants to give Ortiz a chance to clear his head and relax.

"I really want to get him through the off day," Francona said. "I think it's good for him."

Ortiz sat out Friday's opener against Seattle a day after he went 0 for 7 and tied a team record by stranding 12 runners against the Los Angeles Angels

Ortiz is hitting just .208 with no homers in 144 at-bats. He has not gone this long without a homer since Sept. 9, 1998, to June 9, 2000 - partial seasons with the Minnesota Twins.

For the second day in a row, Ortiz did not discuss his slump. When he approached, he shook his head and declined to speak.

The Mariners started a left-hander in Garrett Olson, but Francona said that wasn't the basis for his decision to sit Ortiz.

His struggles are not affecting his popularity with fans. When Ortiz came out of the dugout for batting practice, he was cheered by the sizable contingent of Red Sox fans at Safeco Field. He then put on a power display, hitting several deep home runs into the right field bleachers.

Francona said Ortiz has been his usual, bubbly self in the clubhouse, except for Friday afternoon. When Francona saw him, he could tell the pressures of dealing with the slump had begun to affect him. That's when he decided Ortiz needed a break.

"It looked like he had been fighting his pillow," Francona said.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 17, 2009

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