Victorino Hopeful to Return on Friday in Texas


Shane Victorino took batting practice in the cage again Wednesday afternoon and is set to take BP on the field Thursday in what he hopes is the road back to Boston’s starting lineup this Friday.

Apr 17, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino (18) singles in the second inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

“That’s the tentative plan,” manager John Farrell told the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham. “Whether or not he’s coming out of BP tomorrow and he’s available for tomorrow night’s game remains to be seen. But optimistically we’re looking at Friday at Texas.”

Dealing with a back injury for the past six games has been a new and sometimes frustrating experience for Victorino. “The frustrating thing for me is never having a back problem and having this all of a sudden occur,” Victorino said. “Things are going good, the team is going well. I tip my hat to the guys. They’re doing a great job. It’s been fun to watch.”

Having Victorino back in the lineup gives the Sox more flexibility and allows Daniel Nava to return left field. Victorino’s .292 average and speed also helps to put additional pressure on pitching staff’s facing a one-two Ellsbury/Victorino punch.

In Other News:
Stephen Drew has had some very timely hits over the past few games but is still batting just .192. Oh wait, that’s 11 points higher than Jonny Gomes, who lobbied hard to be Boston’s everyday left fielder.

Joel Hanrahan returned from the DL Tuesday night in Toronto and gave up a run. No wonder – and for very good reason – the closer role was not handed back to him.

In case you missed it, Mike Napoli continues to make Red Sox fans very happy he’s not hitting against the Red Sox anymore. Wednesday night as part of Boston 10-1 route of the Blue Jays, he smacked two home runs, went three for four and knocked in four runs. Napoli continues to lead the majors with 31 RBI over second place Miguel Cabrera with 29 RBI.