SAN FRANCISCO -- David Ortiz put on a show in batting practice Tuesday, sending several pitches soaring toward the right-field bleachers at AT&T Park.
Big Papi might not get many other chances to swing a bat here this week.
Ortiz wasn't in the Boston Red Sox's lineup Tuesday night and won't start Wednesday night, either, according to manager John Farrell. Ortiz will be used exclusively in a pinch-hitting role as the Red Sox are opting to use the two games in a National League ballpark to rest the 40-year-old designated hitter's weary legs.
Ironically, Farrell said Ortiz's otherworldly start to his final season -- 26 doubles, .424 on-base percentage -- has taken a toll on his body, specifically his heels. The Red Sox intended to give Ortiz periodic rest this season, but it has been difficult to take his bat out of the lineup.
"His volume on the bases is up about 40 percent. We're having to manage that," Farrell said. "There's some maintenance that's required with his lower legs and his heels. We're in a situation right now where, late in games, we're taking him out maybe in situations we wouldn't have previous."
In the past, the Red Sox have used Ortiz at first base in order to keep him in the lineup for road games against NL teams. Not against the Giants.
"I don't want to risk losing him," Farrell said. "David's been great as far as days where he's not felt 100 percent, but he's pushed it. That was even on the homestand just completed. I can't say this is a situation that's worsening, but we've got to be mindful of the wear and tear that he's gone through as a 40-year-old."
Before the game, the Giants paid tribute to Ortiz with a video on the center-field scoreboard. Hall of Fame slugger Willie McCovey joined Giants and ex-Red Sox pitchers Jake Peavy and Javier Lopez in presenting Ortiz with a bell from a San Francisco cable car.
Ortiz entered the series with 519 career home runs, two fewer than McCovey.