"Just showed up this morning. He just came in and said, 'My right knee hurts,'" manager Terry Francona said hours before the Red Sox got their first series sweep in Seattle since 1993.
When asked if the slugger will be back for Friday's opener against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park, Francona said, "I'm hoping it'll be all right Friday. I don't know. I don't really have a good answer for that. I hope so."
Francona said after the game Ramirez was unavailable even for pinch-hitting and that he got treatment and an examination from trainers. He did not know if Ramirez's absence would go beyond Wednesday.
Ramirez said his knee has been bothering him for about a week.
"I've just been trying to play it out," he said, while jokingly singing for tips at his locker in the clubhouse before the game, with his I-Pod docked to a speaker and a cup out seeking donations from teammates. "I decided it was time to give it a rest."
Asked if he would be ready for the Yankees, Ramirez said, "I don't know. I'm day-to-day at this point."
The Red Sox are already without All-Star DH David Ortiz, who's been on the disabled list since injuring his wrist May 30. Ortiz was scheduled for a final rehabilitation game Wednesday with Double-A Portland after a stint for Triple-A Pawtucket last week, and remains on track to rejoin the Red Sox on Friday.
"We're in pretty good shape there," Francona said.
Ramirez was 4-for-8 in the first two games of the Seattle series, extending his hitting streak to 11 games while showing no signs of injury. He entered Wednesday batting .301 with a team-leading 19 home runs and 62 RBIs. The 36-year-old had played in 95 of Boston's first 102 games and hadn't sat out an entire game since June 18 at Philadelphia.
Ramirez made some minor waves this week with a Seattle traffic cop.
The Seattle Times reported Ramirez disobeyed a police officer's command for pedestrians to stop at a crosswalk outside Safeco Field soon after Monday night's game, then asked Ramirez for identification and threatened him with a $500 fine. After asking if Ramirez had attended the game and then giving a brief lecture, the officer reportedly let the cooperative Ramirez go.
Francona was still getting a laugh from the incident Wednesday.
"Jaywalking. Do it right and you won't hurt your knee," the manager said.