Shane Victorino is out of the lineup for the third consecutive game with a lower back strain. Manager John Farrell said there was only “slight” improvement and that the right fielder is on anti-inflammatory medication.
Daniel Nava is starting in right field with Mike Carp in left. With the team off on Monday, it is unlikely that Victorino will play before Tuesday, if then.
“If there’s no real significant improvement, we’ll probably take advantage of [Sunday] and the off day to try and get ahead of this,” Farrell said.
The Sox are in Toronto for three games starting on Tuesday. The Rogers Centre has hard artificial turf and Farrell said that could be a factor in determining when Victorino will play again.
In case Victorino does go on the disabled list, the Red Sox are preparing Jackie Bradley Jr. as a replacement.
Bradley has been playing center field since he was optioned on April 20. But he started in right field for Triple A Pawtucket on Friday and will play there again tonight at McCoy Stadium.
• Joel Hanrahan allowed a double and a two-run homer in his inning for Pawtucket on Friday night in Buffalo. But the right hamstring strain that landed him on the disabled list was not an issue.
“I was a little nervous going into the game. But once I got through that first hitter, which was a long at-bat, it was fine,” Hanrahan said. “Everything felt good. I felt good [Saturday] morning when I woke up, too.”
Hanrahan is scheduled to pitch an inning for Pawtucket on Sunday.
“I’ll go out this time and worry more about the results,” he said. “I’ll try to locate some pitches better. But ultimately my leg feels good and that was the main thing. I’ll throw more breaking balls this team and work on that. I was throwing almost all fastballs [Friday] night.”
Hanrahan hopes to be activated for Tuesday’s game in Toronto.
“Provided everything goes accordingly, there’s a real chance he’ll rejoin us on the road trip,” Farrell said.
• Alfredo Aceves reported to Triple A Pawtucket on Saturday as the Red Sox requested. He is expected to join the Paw Sox rotation on Thursday.
• Lefthanded reliever Franklin Morales has been shut down because of a strained left pectoral muscle. He is not expected to start throwing again until Tuesday. Morales was already on the disabled list with a back injury. Morales had his rehab assignment stopped and would seem to be at least several week from pitching again. Morales ended last season with a shoulder injury. The assorted injuries could be related to his constantly changing roles last season. Morales opened the season as a reliever, became a starter for a month, went back to the bullpen for three weeks and then started four more games before feeling shoulder pain.
• Catcher Ryan Lavarnway was on the field early working on his throwing with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and bullpen coach Dana Levangie. Lavarnway was called up on Thursday and is expected to be optioned on Sunday to make room for Lackey on the roster.