FORT MYERS, Fla. — Shane Victorino will get a couple of days to rest after telling Red Sox manager John Farrell Saturday that his legs were sore and it would be best to take some time off.
Farrell wasn't concerned, as Victorino played at full speed for five innings against the Marlins Friday and took batting practice Saturday. Victorino had back surgery in August but this soreness was not related to that.
"Just general soreness — quads, [hamstrings] — not back related at all. Back off next couple of days, but he will be in lineup vs. St. Louis on Monday," Farrell said.
Victorino also downplayed the issue.
"Normal everyday soreness," he said. "Don't look too far into it. From a physical standpoint, I'm fine. Different when you go out there after not playing for so long and I made the play against the wall and going first to third which I wasn't accustomed to doing. You can't simulate that in the offseason."
Victorino had every intention of playing back-to-back days but didn't want to take the risk at this point of spring training.
"More sore than I thought I was going to be so why make the problems worse?" he said. "The plan was not to go on the long trip [to Port St. Lucie and Jupiter], but I'd rather get my body ready and I'll make the three-hour bus ride Monday."
Victorino walked in the fourth inning Friday then went to third base on a ball lined to left center by Daniel Nava.
"Those are my instincts and it ended up being a bang-bang play," Victorino said. "You don't expect to be in that position so early, but that part of me comes out. I just count my blessings I've made it through a few games and [will be] ready to go Monday."
Victorino said it's a matter of building up his baseball endurance. The one thing he's really happy about is "there has not been one time when my back has hurt." While he wonders if it will at some point, for now all is good on that front.
In Sarasota, 21-year-old lefthander Eduardo Rodriguez threw three perfect innings against Baltimore, the team that traded him in July. He struck out three and showed a fastball that hit 96 miles per hour. The Sox won the split-squad game, 7-6.
"It was a lot of fun," said Rodriguez, who came out of the clubhouse to watch Baltimore take batting practice and exchanged hugs with several former teammates. "I just tried to keep the same routine and do what I've always been doing. Thankfully it went well."
Facing a loaded Baltimore lineup, Rodriguez struck out Alejandro De Aza, Chris Davis, and Everth Cabrera. Four other hitters grounded out.
"I think I did get a lot out of facing their starting guys," Rodriguez said through a translator.
Beyond his skills on the mound, the Sox have liked how Rodriguez has approached his first spring with the team.
"Little things that a lot of people don't get to see that we get to see every day are his demeanor, his work habits, his ability to communicate. He's a really impressive guy," bench coach Torey Lovullo said.
The Sox, then in last place, obtained Rodriguez for lefthanded reliever Andrew Miller July 31. Now Rodriguez is one of their top prospects and likely will open the season in the Triple A rotation.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter does not regret the trade. Miller had a 1.35 earned run average in 23 appearances for the Orioles then threw 7⅓ near-perfect innings in the postseason as Baltimore advanced to the ALCS. He then signed with the Yankees as a free agent.
"We loved him. Great trade for both clubs," Showalter said. "We felt like Eduardo was going to be a good major league pitcher, and he will be. But we also felt that Andrew took us to another level."
Rodriguez answered in English when asked if his fastball got over 96.
"Maybe," he said with a little smile.
In Fort Myers, Clay Buchholz was one walk away from three perfect innings against the Twins in a 4-2 victory. He struck out four.
In his first outing against a major league team, Buchholz was scheduled for two innings but stayed in the game because of his efficiency.
"I just figured to go the extra inning. I had already pitched a two-inning simulated game so it was no big deal," Buchholz said. "The results aren't a big deal in spring training but you can gain confidence in any outing. I have things to work on, but I was able to execute all my pitches."
Farrell liked what he saw. Buchholz has not been announced as the Opening Day starter but is lined up for that game.
"Four pitches for strikes, good command," the manager said. "The thing we focus in on, when he's able to throw his changeup to righthanders, his release point has good extension and that's what he had today."
Buchholz, a notoriously slow worker, didn't have any problem with the clock between innings.
"It takes a while to get used to it, but it was pretty much the same," he said.
The Red Sox would not confirm it, but agent David Hastings said Yoan Moncada was at JetBlue Park. The 19-year-old infielder from Cuba agreed to a record $31.5 million bonus on Feb. 23 but has not officially signed yet. That is expected to come Tuesday or Wednesday once results return from one medical test . . . Xander Bogaerts, who had 12 throwing errors last season, threw a ball low in his first game but, overall, has improved his defense. "First step quickness has been there," said Farrell. "He's getting familiar with some of the hitters. He's got a better overall feel for the position." . . . Showalter's eyes popped wide open when was asked about 22-year-old righthander Jason Garcia. The Rule 5 Draft pick never advanced beyond Low Single A with the Red Sox but has impressed the Orioles so far in camp. The Orioles would have to keep Garcia on the active roster all season or offer him back to the Sox.