Red Sox Notes: Victorino still day-to-day

Red Sox Notes: Victorino still day-to-day
May 23, 2013, 8:00 pm

BOSTON — It's been a season of bumps and bruises for Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino.

He dealt with a bad back in late April, crashed into the Fenway Park wall in mid-May, and left Monday night's game with hamstring tightness.

Victorino was out of action Thursday night for the start of a four-game set against the Indians, and manager John Farrell says he's still day-to-day with the same hamstring issue.

"Continues to improve with each day. He's going to go out and do some running, some light running, and as we continue to ramp up the physical work or the physical activity," Farrell said. "The information we get back after how he responds to that certainly is helpful as far as our decision making going forward.

"He's still day-to-day, unavailable tonight, so I think as we've used the general rule of thumb, as we get through that halfway point or close to that halfway point of a potential 15-day DL, we'll make a decision at that point, but we're no closer today to make a roster move."

*****

Meanwhile, a couple of other Red Sox players are on the mend and look to be out on the field soon.

Pitcher Franklin Morales, on the DL since the start of the season due to a lower back strain, pitched what should be his final rehab appearance for the Portland Sea Dogs on Thursday.

"Five innings, 77 pitches, threw the ball well," Farrell said.

"With him pitching today, he's not available for the next four, five days at a minimum, so that will be taken under account over the next couple of days in our discussion and what potential moves we might make with him."

Morales could see time as either a starter or reliever, as the Sox have stretched out his appearances to allow him to go deeper into games if need be.

*****

David Ross continues to make improvements after sustaining a concussion during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 11 in which the catcher took two foul balls right off the mask.

He was cleared for baseball activities earlier this week, and played in Thursday's Double-A game with the Portland Sea Dogs. Ross batted third, going 1-3 with a double, RBI, and run scored.

"David Ross, 1-3, was fine as far as any kind of activity on the field," Farrell said. "He's back here right now. He'll get examined tonight and probably tomorrow when he comes in, and at that point we have the ability to make a roster decision tomorrow."

*****

Terry Francona made his long-anticipated return to Fenway Park as manager of the Cleveland Indians.

The Red Sox honored not only Francona, but other former Red Sox players now with the Indians, including former Sox shortstop Mike Aviles, with a video tribute before the top of the second inning.

Francona got a standing ovation from the Fenway crowd and acknowledged them from the dugout with a wave and a pat of the heart.

*****

The Red Sox start a six-game homestead Thursday, playing four games against the Indians, and two against the Philadelphia Phillies. Then the Sox will head to Philadelphia to play two more there.

*****

The Red Sox are 11-4 in their first game of a series this year, tied for the second-best such mark in MLB (also Detroit at 11-4), behind the Braves (13-2).