In the PawSox’ 5-2 win over the Buffalo Bisons on Thursday, Shane Victorino looked more ready than ever to return to the big leagues since being placed on the DL almost two months ago.
The right fielder went 2-for-4 in the game, scored two runs, and showed strong play in the outfield as the PawSox beat the Blue Jays’ Triple-A affiliate at McCoy Stadium. Victorino played all nine innings.
Victorino struck out in his first at bat, waving at a 2-2 breaking ball that tailed out of the strike zone, for the second out of the bottom of the first that saw the PawSox retired 1-2-3.
On a deep fly ball to right hit by Buffalo’s Kevin Pillar in the top of the third, Victorino appeared to have no hesitation in getting a good jump on the ball and chasing it all the way to the warning track, but it bounced over his head and into the stands for a ground rule double that scored Ryan Goins and tied the game 1-1.
He flew out to center in his second at bat for the second out of the bottom of the third, as the PawSox couldn’t take advantage of a leadoff single by Dan Butler and the score remained 1-1.
Victorino finally got on base in his third at bat, singling through the left side of the infield to lead off the bottom of the sixth. It was his first hit with the PawSox since April 21, only his second of the season in eight total games with Pawtucket.
He then showed off his fully healed hamstring by going from first to third on a single by Travis Shaw, diving into third and then jumping up and jogging home as the throw got away to give the PawSox a 2-1 lead.
He picked up his second hit of the night with two on in the bottom of the seventh, knocking a chopper to the deep left side that the shortstop couldn’t do anything with to load the bases. He moved up to second on a fielder’s choice hit into by Andres Torres, then scored on a double by Shaw.
He is expected to start Friday for Pawtucket as well, showing that he can play back-to-back games before a decision is made on his long-awaiting return to Boston.