Ortiz playing through nagging oblique injury

Ortiz playing through nagging oblique injury

ST. PETERSBURG -- As it turns out, the day off that David Ortiz had on Sunday -- which preceded the team's day off on Monday -- wasn't exclusively just to get him a rest.

It turns out the slugger has been bothered of late by a left oblique injury he first felt when the Red Sox were in Texas from May 3-5.

"A little bit," Ortiz said after the Red Sox's 5-3 loss to the Rays on Tuesday. "A little bit of tightness in my left oblique. It wasn't bothering me that much, but it was still bothering me a little bit. That's why I've been kind of pulling everything it feels like, but hopefully it doesn't get any worse."

The injury didn't appear to impact Ortiz in the first inning Tuesday night, when he walloped a prodigious three-run homer to right against Rays lefty Matt Moore.

"I'm going to keep on playing with it. It's not at a point where it gets any worse," Ortiz said. "But yeah, it bothers me on some swings that I take -- like last week, I was watching some videos, outside pitches that I was kind of pulling, and when you get to the point where you want to drive the ball the other way and next thing you know you're hooking the ball, that's not normal. You know what I'm saying? That had a lot to do with it. Hopefully it gets better."

After missing the first three weeks of the season due to his rehab from a right Achilles injury, Ortiz has no interest in taking any more time off -- particularly when his team is in a funk.

"What do you think? I've got to play," Ortiz said. "I have enough time off. I just come in early and treat it, then try to move forward."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.