BOSTON — The Red Sox’s offense could soon receive a couple of reinforcements.
Outfielder Shane Victorino began his rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday, and third baseman Will Middlebrooks will join him with the PawSox on Monday. It’s possible both players could return to the big league club by the end of the upcoming week, if all goes well.
The Red Sox’s offense certainly could use the help, as Boston has scored four runs or fewer in nine of its last 10 games. The Red Sox have averaged just 3.6 runs per game overall this season, which is the second-lowest mark in the American League.
Here are a couple of updates provided by Red Sox manager John Farrell before Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.
— Middlebrooks, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list April 6 after suffering a Grade 1 calf strain the day before, enjoyed another “strong” workout Sunday at Fenway. He’s expected to play rehab games with Pawtucket on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday before being reevaluated.
— Victorino, who was placed on the 15-day DL before the Red Sox’s season opener after suffering a Grade 1 hamstring strain in Boston’s final spring training game, received three at-bats and played six defensive innings with Pawtucket on Saturday. He’s expected to start two more games with Pawtucket on Monday and Tuesday, after which he could be activated.
Victorino likely will receive four at-bats Monday. The Red Sox’s goal is for him to play a full, nine-inning game before rejoining the team.