Papi holds his own in return to first base

Red Sox DH makes two nice plays in first action in the field since last August

Papi holds his own in return to first base

LOS ANGELES -- A lot of talk surrounded David Ortiz's first start at first base this season and whether his 40-year-old body could handle it.

The Red Sox's designated hitter, who is in his final season, proved during the team's 3-0 loss to the Dodgers on Saturday at Dodger Stadium that he's still plenty agile.

Starting at first base for the first time since Aug. 30 against the Mets, Ortiz nabbed two line drives to his right during the game.

"Good hands never leave you," Ortiz quipped after the game.

Papi snares liner

Howie Kendrick led off the Dodgers' first with a shot at Ortiz, before the first baseman gobbled up a ball hit by Josh Reddick with runners on the corners and two outs in the fifth inning.

"He made two very outstanding plays," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "It is somewhat ironic that he hasn't been on the field in almost a year, and the first ball that is put in play is a snare of a line drive on his part."

Ortiz's teammates liked seeing him on the field and didn't think his infrequent play at the position affected him.

"It was tough to see with the yellow seats in the backdrop," said Brock Holt, who filled in for Dustin Pedroia at second base. "I asked him after the first one if he saw it, and he said not until the very last second. He made some good plays, and one saved us a run. He did a good job for us."

While Ortiz did manage to snare those two line drives, he was replaced at first in the sixth inning by Travis Shaw because of general stiffness.

"I got a little sore out there," Ortiz said. "I didn't want to make things worse. It started to crop up in the first inning."

The comments Farrell and Ortiz made postgame about his future at first likely mean he'll be resigned to pinch-hitting duties when the club travels to San Diego for a three-game Interleague series against the Padres from Sept. 5-7.

"Future? What future?" Ortiz said with a laugh when asked about playing first base again. "The future is right now. I don't have a future. Haven't you read the paper? I'm not playing anymore after this season."

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for and covered the Red Sox on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.