BOSTON – Right fielder Shane Victorino is out of the lineup again for Friday’s game against the Astros. It is the second straight day he has been out of the lineup, and the fourth game since Sunday’s doubleheader that he has missed with low back soreness.
“While improved over yesterday, he still has some spasms in the low back,” manager John Farrell said. “He’s day to day but unavailable today.”
There is still a possibility Victorino could end up on the disabled list.
“It’ll be based on how he continues to improve day over day and responds to the treatment,” Farrell said. “We’re not any closer today to saying this is a DL situation. He’s still day to day.”
The Red Sox have an off-day Monday before beginning a six-game road trip to Toronto and then Texas. The Sox may try to avoid the DL possibility by giving Victorino the weekend off with the off-day.
“It’s a real possibility,” Farrell said. “But how he feels is going to be the single most important thing in this.”
Farrell has said he would not use Victorino again until the outfielder is symptom free, and even then would give him an extra day just to be on the safe side.
* David Ortiz, who was activated from the DL on Saturday, is batting .550, going 11-for-20, with an .850 slugging percentage and .571 on-base percentage in five games.
“Just his timing,” Farrell said. “The way he’s come back in and the timing to pitches seen. Against lefthanders he’s let the ball travel deep. He’s hit the ball the other way. He’s a very good hitter. I don’t mean to be at a loss for words here, but not trying to dissect it and explain it. It’s incredible the production he’s had in a short period of time.”
Farrell noticed a difference in Ortiz last season.
“Across the field you saw him with more of a willingness to use the wall and stay inside of pitches,” Farrell said. “He’s used the bigger part of the field. It’s allowed him to see the ball better and track the ball longer. He’s not afraid to get jammed. He’s not afraid to let the ball get deep. He’s so strong he can fight base hits off the other way and when he gets a hanging breaking ball or a fastball that stays in the middle of the plate he does did last night with it. It’s remarkable what he’s been able to do given the conditions he’s come back to.”
* With left-hander Erik Bedard starting for the Astros, Stephen Drew is not in the starting lineup. Pedro Ciriaco is playing shortstop, batting ninth.
“It is [just a night off] and looking for other spots to get Pedro in there,” Farrell said.
* Farrell said he would also like to get Ciriaco more playing time in the remaining two games against the Astros.
“We’ll look to move him around hopefully,” he said.
* Right-hander Joel Hanrahan (right hamstring) is scheduled to being a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket tonight in Buffalo, against the Blue Jays’ affiliate
* Left-hander Craig Breslow (shoulder) is scheduled to pitch for Pawtucket Saturday and Sunday against Columbus. Breslow pitched Monday for Double-A Portland, facing four batters but could not record an out.
* Right-hander Alfredo Aceves, optioned to Pawtucket after Wednesday’s game, is expected to report Saturday, within the 72-hour window allowed. He is expected to work in the PawSox rotation, but when he will pitch next has yet to be determined.
* Jacoby Ellsbury leads the majors in stolen bases, a perfect 10-for-10 in attempts. His 10 steals in April match the Sox’ single-season record, which Ellsbury set in 2009, on his way to 70 steals.
* A scoring change for Saturday’s game gives Mike Carp a triple. Originally, is fourth-inning fly ball was ruled a three-base error on Royals left fielder Alex Gordon. Carp now has two triples this season. He is batting .500, going 8-for-16, with a 1.000 slugging percentage and .592 on-base percentage. Six of his hits have been for extra bases.
Carp, who is not in the starting lineup Friday, has appeared in just nine games with three starts.
“He’s done a great job of staying prepared,” Farrell said. “He went, I think maybe the first 12 [six, actually] games of the season before he got an at-bat. Then he gets a spot start over in Cleveland and much like we talked about the confidence, he gets a start and he gets three hits, three extra-base hits. It’s continued to carry over.
“I think the most important thing is the way that he’s handled that role and the thing that he has done every day to stay prepared. He’s stepped in the middle of a number of things where he’s contributed. He’s done a very good job in the role.”