PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Shane Victorino was out of the Red Sox’ lineup Tuesday with pain in his left side that occurred after Sunday’s game against the Rays.
He had treatment Monday and since has taken batting practice and played catch from 150 feet.
“He feels no residual effects, so, precautionary, we held him out of the lineup today and hopefully he’s back in the lineup tomorrow,” manager John Farrell said. “I wouldn’t say it’s the oblique. Just some general left side soreness.”
Farrell said the Red Sox could keep Victorino in minor league games the rest of the week. That would allow the team to backdate his stint on the disabled list if that becomes necessary.
“That’s a possibility just to be sure we don’t jeopardize any further delay if that were to come up,” Farrell said. “We’re looking at all those possibilities.”
Until this latest setback, Victorino was doing well physically over the last two weeks. He did not play in a game until March as he recovered from surgery on his right thumb and worked on strengthening core muscles that bothered him last season.
Victorino has played in eight games and had 22 at-bats.
“I thought he was coming along,” said Farrell, who believes Victorino will be ready for Opening Day in Baltimore Monday.
Buchholz looks sharp
Clay Buchholz allowed two runs on three hits over six innings in a 4-2 victory against the Rays. He walked two and struck out five.
Buchholz allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in the third inning. But he retired 10 of his final 11 batters and threw 84 pitches.
“I thought he made a really good adjustment, particularly after the third inning,” Farrell said. “I thought in the first couple of innings he had a tendency to drift a little bit. More than anything that stands out over the course of spring training is he’s pitching comfortably.”
The best part for Buchholz was the ability to put more on the ball late in the game. He also threw his changeup consistently for a strike for the first time this spring.
His sinking two-seam fastball helped produce seven outs on the ground.
“I felt like the stuff was good and when I wanted a little more extra on the fastball I felt like I had something left in the tank,” he said. “I’m comfortable pitching at 90-91-92 [miles per hour]. I feel like I get more movement, especially my two-seamer, at that speed. If I need a four-seamer in a big situation I was able to throw them a little harder.”
Buchholz will stay behind when the team breaks camp Saturday so he can pitch in a minor league intrasquad game Sunday and get to 95-100 pitches.
The Red Sox had Buchholz skip a start early in camp then named him their No. 5 starter to give him one extra game before the season started.
“It was more based on what we thought and felt his needs were coming into camp,” Farrell said. “We felt it would give him a few more days to gradually build up.”
Buchholz’s arm strength has been consistent and the team’s program appears to have worked.
“I think he’s in a really good place,” Farrell said.
Presidential visit set
President Obama will honor the World Series champion Red Sox at the White House Tuesday morning. The Sox have a scheduled day off after the opener.
As part of their trip to Washington, the team is planning to visit wounded soldiers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
All of the players from last season’s team still with the Sox have said they would attend, according to Farrell.
Jon Lester will throw 95-100 pitches in a minor league game Wednesday rather than face the Orioles, the team he will face on Opening Day. Allen Webster will return from minor league camp to face the Orioles . . . Lefthanded reliever Craig Breslow is scheduled for minor league games Thursday and Saturday and is likely to start the season on the disabled list. For the second year in a row, he has needed extra time to build arm strength . . . John Lackey, Felix Doubront, and Jake Peavy will start the final three games of the exhibition season . . . Outfielder Corey Brown said he can opt out of his minor league contract on Thursday. He is planning to talk to his agent soon. He has little chance of making the team.