The Red Sox were already set to enter Game 4 of the World Series with their backs up against the wall. Now, their backs are really hurting — quite literally.
Shane Victorino was scratched from the Red Sox’ Game 4 lineup during batting practice with lower back tightness — an ailment that isn’t anything new to the 32-year-old outfielder.
“He felt it stiffen up last night. We tried to get him through it today but it’s not happening,” manager John Farrell said, according to The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham. “It’s similar to what he had during the season at times.”
Jonny Gomes will replace Victorino in the Red Sox’ starting lineup. He’ll play left field and bat fifth, while Daniel Nava will shift over to right field and move up into the No. 2 spot in Boston’s order.
Farrell said that he’s hopeful that Victorino will return to the lineup for Game 5, although Victorino’s availability off the bench for Game 4 is uncertain.
Victorino — despite hitting a game-winning grand slam in Game 6 of the ALCS — is just 3-for-34 between the ALCS and the World Series. The Red Sox will certainly miss his defense, though, especially with St. Louis’ spacious outfield.