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Ortiz on being pinch-hit for: ‘It was just embarrassing’

04.23.10 at 6:10 pm ET

Speaking to WEEI.com prior to the Red Sox‘ series opening game with the Orioles, Friday night at Fenway Park, David Ortiz called being pinch-hit for Tuesday as “embarrassing” although he didn’t blame Sox manager Terry Francona. The move by Francona to pinch-hit Mike Lowell for Ortiz came in the seventh inning with lefty Darren Oliver on the mound, marking the first time the manager had ever pinch-hit for Ortiz in a meaningful situation since Francona took over in 2004.

“It was just embarrassing, getting pinch-hit for,” Ortiz said. “I understand. I’m not swinging the bat good, with a lefty and whatever. I’ve got to come through and do my thing and get that out of people’s heads. When I’m swinging the bat good that’s not going to happen. Basically it was a wake-up call to say, ‘You better start hitting or you’re going to get pinch-hit for.’

“You saw my reaction. I just came back tot he dugout. Of course, I was embarrassed, but I took it like a man. It wasn’t Tito’s fault that I was pinch-hit for. It was my fault because I’m not hitting. I know it’s not going to get me any confidence, but it’s telling me to work on your (stuff) and start hitting.”

Ortiz is in the Red Sox’ lineup for the first time since the move by Francona. The designated hitter is batting .146 with no homers and two RBI. He has used the time off to taking extra early batting practice both Wednesday and Thursday.

“I’ve just got to regroup, go back to doing my thing and make sure I get in the lineup,” Ortiz said. “A lot of people have a lot of questions about me not hitting. It’s not a good situation to be in. I’m still working and trying to make things happen. I want to make sure everybody gets me out of their head and lets me play the game.”

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