Shane Victorino makes season debut

Shane Victorino went 1 for 5 with a double and a run in his return from the disabled list.
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
Shane Victorino went 1 for 5 with a double and a run in his return from the disabled list.

There was a lot to forget about the Red Sox’ 14-5 loss to the Yankees Thursday night.

The Sox made five errors. Felix Doubront was chased after just 2 innings, and the Yankees stole three bases in the third inning on the inattentive starter.

By the ninth inning, outfielder Mike Carp was throwing knuckleballs in his professional pitching debut.


Perhaps the lone bright spot for the Sox was the return of Shane Victorino, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game and added to the starting lineup, batting second and playing right field.

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Victorino finished 1 for 5 with a double and a run.

He looked rusty in his first at-bat, striking out on three pitches from CC Sabathia, but he followed that with a sharp double down the left-field line in the third inning. He then scored on a Jonny Gomes double.

He didn’t care very much that his season debut came against the rival Yankees, or that he’d be going up against Sabathia.

More than anything, the energetic Victorino was just eager to play.


“There’s no one thing I put on the calendar and say ‘this is what I want to come back for,’ ” Victorino said before the series finale at Fenway Park. “It just worked out that way.

“For me, to be part of the team is what’s important. I didn’t have dates circled, a tentative plan to what was going on. We went accordingly and everything went the way we wanted to and I’m back today.”

Victorino, who was rehabbing a strained right hamstring, was 1 for 11 in Pawtucket, his only hit an infield single. In his final rehab start Tuesday, he went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts while making an error in right field.

The hope for manager John Farrell is that Victorino’s return will help bring consistency to the top of the lineup. The Sox have used five players in the leadoff spot, with Dustin Pedroia making his third appearance Thursday.

“I’d like to think we take the current lineup and run with it for a while,” Farrell said.


Nonetheless, Victorino said he doesn’t feel any added pressure.

“I think if you come back with that attitude, the game’s hard enough as it is,” said Victorino. “I’m going to go out there and do what I do, whether it’s put a bunt down, make a play on defense, steal a base, score a run, whatever aspect it may be. Hopefully that generates energy and runs.”

Last season, Victorino won a Gold Glove while manning Fenway’s spacious and intricate right field. This year, Farrell has tried four players in right. With Victorino back on the corner and Jackie Bradley Jr. in center, the Red Sox will have plenty of speed in the outfield.

“I think we saw last year with Shane in right field, a Gold Glove winner, particularly in this ballpark what it means, and that’s not to be critical of anybody that’s played right field [this season]. We’ve got an opportunity to solidify our defense in the outfield,’’ Farrell said.

Victorino said he feels good physically, and that he isn’t worried about reinjuring his hamstring in cold weather or playing on the turf in Toronto this weekend.

Victorino said that everything felt fine in spring training, until he injured his hamstring running the bases in the final game. He said he doesn’t worry about aggravating the strain.

“If I worry about those things, I might as well not show up to play,” Victorino said.

“From where I’m at with my body, where I feel physically, everything is right where it needs to be. I’m going to go out there and give it my all with no hesitation and no worry, nothing in the back of my mind.

“I’m going to go out there and give 100 percent of what I have.”

Anthony Gulizia can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @gulizia_a