FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Shane Victorino, held out of Friday's minor league action after feeling some discomfort in his surgically-repaired left thumb the day before, is back in the lineup for Saturday's game with Philadelphia.
"We fully expect three at-bats and five innings,'' said John Farrell. "He had that one bat against Minnesota (Thursday) and we just didn't want him taking live at-bats (Friday), so he's back in there today.''
· Jon Lester, who started Saturday night against the Phillies, is due to make his next start on Thursday.
That night, the Sox will be hosting the Yankees and at times, the team has shied away from having established starters face division rivals, not wanting the opposition to see too much in spring training.
But because Lester has already made a couple of simulated game starts to open his spring, the Sox want him in real game situations and will pitch him against New York.
"Given that we've taken some guys through sim games,'' Farrell, "we don't want our guys only in those controlled settings. Right now, everything is pointing toward him pitching in the night game.''
· Will Middlebrooks, who didn't travel with the team Friday to Dunedin, sat out Saturday night because of a hyper-extended right middle finger. Middlebrooks jammed the finger in a stolen base attempt Thursday against the Twins.
"We fully expect him to be in the lineup (Sunday), or no later than the next day,'' said Farrell. "We just felt like, let's get ahead of it right now.''
· The Red Sox entered Saturday night with 18 homers in 16 games, the most of any American League club this spring. Those 18 homers are more than the Sox hit all of last spring, when they hit 17 in 35 games.
Only the Washington Nationals (19 homers) have more this spring.