David Ortiz In Red Sox’s Lineup Vs. David Price, Rays Despite Injury

David OrtizDavid Ortiz will be in the Boston Red Sox’s starting lineup for Friday night’s series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

Ortiz tweaked his back on a check swing in the ninth inning of Thursday’s loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Ortiz, who exited the game, was described after the contest as being “day to day” by Red Sox manager John Farrell. The ailment won’t keep the slugger from digging in Friday against arch nemesis David Price, however, which is good news for those hoping for drama.

The Red Sox and Rays have generated fireworks this season. The teams cleared the benches at the end of May during a series at Tropicana Field after Yunel Escobar said something to the Red Sox’s dugout and Jonny Gomes stormed in from the left field. Tempers again flared less than a week later at Fenway Park after Price plunked Ortiz on the back with a pitch in the first inning. Four members of the Red Sox — Farrell, bench coach Torey Lovullo, third base coach Brian Butterfield and pitcher Brandon Workman — were ejected from that contest, which also involved a couple of bench-clearing incidents.

Ortiz blasted Price immediately following the clubs’ May 30 showdown. He again ripped Price after the Rays ace avoided a suspension days later. It’s clear the All-Stars don’t like each other — Price apparently wasn’t happy about Ortiz taking him deep twice in last year’s ALDS — and Friday offers an opportunity to renew the rivalry now that Big Papi is indeed penciled into Farrell’s starting nine.

Brock Holt, who continues to be a human Swiss Army knife for Boston, will play shortstop in Friday’s series opener.

The Red Sox will counter with their ace, Jon Lester, who has been one of the hottest pitchers in baseball of late. Lester has been in the news for his impending free agency, whereas Price, who is a free agent after next season, has been the subject of trade rumors for quite a while.

Friday’s complete lineups are below.

Boston Red Sox (47-55)
Brock Holt, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Shane Victorino, RF
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
David Ross, C

Jon Lester, LHP (10-7, 2.50 ERA)

Tampa Bay Rays (49-53)
Desmond Jennings, CF
Ben Zobrist, RF
Brandon Guyer, LF
Evan Longoria, 3B
Sean Rodriguez, DH
Yunel Escobar, SS
James Loney, 1B
Jose Molina, C
Logan Forsythe, 2B

David Price, LHP (10-7, 3.06 ERA)

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