Mike Lowell, who batted for Ortiz in the eighth inning on Tuesday and drew a bases-loaded walk that scored the winning run, was also on the bench. It was the second time in a week the struggling Ortiz has been lifted for a pinch-hitter.
"We pinch-hit for him and we won the game," manager Terry Francona said before Wednesday's game at Rogers Centre. "I thought that's what we were trying to do. Other than that, I really don't know what to say.
"You talk about guys rebounding -- when you pinch-hit for somebody, it doesn't mean their career's over. You're just trying to win the game. I really wanted to get Lowell in [tonight's lineup, but I didn't put him in the lineup]. I wanted [Jason Varitek] to catch."
Ortiz hit his first home run of the season last year on May 20 against Cecil. Francona said he has seen some improvements in Ortiz.
"It's not an indictment," Francona said. "We're trying to win. Sometimes the bench you have determines what you do. We're trying to do what we think is right for our ballclub."
Larry Millson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.