BOSTON -- Shane Victorino will have to wait at least another day before returning to the Red Sox.
Victorino, the injured right fielder whose on-again, off-again rehab continued at Triple A Pawtucket on Thursday night, was back in the PawSox lineup on Friday. He had held out hope that he could talk the Red Sox into having him return tonight after his 2-for-4 performance, during which he played nine innings.
In the end, he wasn't able to talk the Red Sox into an early activation.
"He always finds a way to say his piece," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "At the same time, he came out of last night in good shape physically, he ran the bases aggressively, he went from first to third a couple of different times, slid head first, couple of base hits, made three plays I believe in right field. Last night was a very good night for him and we anticipate him getting through tonight in a similar fashion physically.
"There's a scenario that has him active for us tomorrow."
Victorino has been on the disabled list since May 24 with hamstring and lower back injuries. He's played just 21 big league games this season, and if the Red Sox are to dig out of their 9 1/2 game deficit in the American League East he could provide a spark.
"We've missed his energy, we've missed his talents," Farrell said. "His in-game decisions, his instincts on the base paths. We've missed a very good player for the majority of the year. That being said, we're very much looking forward to him getting back. We recognize there's been a couple of start and stops along the way. What kind of production he gives us immediately remains to be seen."
Third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who worked out with the Red Sox on Thursday at Fenway, was also in the PawSox lineup Friday night. Farrell suggested recently that both Victorino and Middlebrooks could be activated around the same time.
The manager clarified on Friday afternoon that the two "are not tied to one another."
"We're hopeful Will is fully healed over the things he's been battling," Farrell said. "The wrist, the finger, and he gets back to us as a productive player. I can't tell you sitting here right now that that would be tomorrow."
But Middlebrooks could be back before the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31.
"That's possible," Farrell said. "But with either move, there's corresponding moves and we've gotta work through those."