BOSTON — When David Ortiz was helped from the field in the ninth inning Wednesday, unable to put weight on his right foot, it appeared to be a calamitous moment for the Boston Red Sox.
It turned out to be merely a scare.
Ortiz crumpled to the ground after fouling a 99 mph fastball from New York Yankees closer Dellin Betances off the middle of his right shin. But X-rays and a fluoroscan taken at Fenway Park were negative, according to the team, and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Ortiz was “walking regularly” before he left the ballpark.
Through a team spokesperson, Ortiz declined to comment until Thursday.
“Any time you lose a guy that’s going to the Hall of Fame, that’s going to hurt pretty bad,” Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts said. “Hopefully he can get well. We’ve just got to have guys step up.”
Betts is also banged up, having left the game in the fifth inning with tightness in his right calf. His availability is considered day-to-day, manager John Farrell said.
According to Betts, the tightness cropped up when he awoke Wednesday morning and persisted throughout the day, though he added that it isn’t enough for him to consider not playing. When it got worse during the game, Betts left for what he called “precautionary” reasons.
“Just stiffness that gradually got worse,” Betts said. “We’ll see what happens [Thursday] and go from there.”
Betts said the calf issue “could be” related to recent tightness in his right knee. But he said he hasn’t had any new issues with his knee.
“I’m sure it probably has something to do with it,” Betts said. “We’ll see how it goes [Thursday] and find out some reasons why.”
Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright has already been scratched from Thursday’s start after an MRI revealed inflammation in his right shoulder. Wright was injured Sunday night in Los Angeles when he pinch ran for Ortiz and jammed his shoulder while diving to second base on a fake pickoff attempt.
Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (2-5) will start in Wright’s place.