BAL@BOS: Bradley makes a great shoestring catch

NEW YORK -- One of the main reasons the Red Sox were comfortable in having Jackie Bradley Jr. start the season in the Majors is that they were confident he wouldn't be rattled if he struggled. That thought has proven to be exactly right.

Following an 0-for-20 drought, Bradley was sent back to the Minors on April 18, and he excelled in his return to Pawtucket, batting .354 with two homers and nine RBIs in 20 games.

The Red Sox called him back to the Majors on Wednesday, and he has looked far more comfortable in this go-around.

In Saturday night's game against the Yankees, Bradley belted two doubles as part of a three-hit night.

With Jacoby Ellsbury again out of the lineup, Bradley was back in center field on Sunday night.

"I feel like I was just not really in sync [earlier in the year]," Bradley said. "You try to stay with your same approach, seeing pitches. That's just who I am. I'm going to see pitches, try to make the pitcher work. That way, I can learn them. It was my first turn going around. So I'm just trying to get a feel for pitchers, start learning them, stuff like that, and the best way to do that is to see pitches."

Victorino's return from hamstring injury slowed

BOS@CWS: Victorino leaves with an injury in the sixth

NEW YORK -- Shane Victorino gave his left hamstring a test run prior to Sunday's game against the Yankees, and it was obvious he was still not 100 percent.

There were times Victorino appeared tentative. That said, the likelihood has decreased that the right fielder will be activated on Wednesday, the first day he is eligible.

"Yeah, at times, he was [tentative]," said manager John Farrell. "He's not running at 100 percent yet. The one thing that we're being cautious with here is that based on experience of having him come right back and play successive games -- and he's had a couple of those setbacks prior to going on the disabled list -- we want to be sure that there's a gradual improvement, which he's showing."

Originally, the Red Sox had hoped Victorino could go play a couple of Minor League games by the beginning of the week, but that now seems unlikely.

"To say that he's going to go on a rehab assignment tomorrow or the next day is probably a little more premature at this point," said Farrell. "We're just being, like you said, a little bit more overly cautious given what's transpired."

There hasn't been any setback for Victorino. The hamstring is simply healing slower than expected.

"There's been no setbacks, there's been no reaggravation of it," Farrell said. "It's just a matter of when he tries to get to that explosiveness, he doesn't have the quite the confidence and we're honestly telling him to more gradually get into it.

"What we don't want to do is turn this into an extended period where if it takes a couple of more days than the June 5 activation date, we're certainly willing to do whatever it takes to get by that. What we don't want to do is have that date be a drop-dead date where all of a sudden he's back and he re-aggravates things further."

Ellsbury targets Tuesday night return to lineup

BOS@PHI: Ellsbury steals fifth base to set Sox record

NEW YORK -- Jacoby Ellsbury was again unable to go on Sunday night, due to left groin tightness, and missed the entire three-game series against the Yankees.

The Red Sox have a day off on Monday and the hope is that Ellsbury will be healthy enough to play on Tuesday night, when the team opens a homestand against the Rangers.

"Improved," said manager John Farrell. "Yet not ready to go today. We're shooting for Tuesday."

Farrell said the Red Sox were not trying to hold Ellsbury back.

"No, it's the assessment of the medical staff, how he's responded to treatment," said Farrell. "It's improving, but he's not ready to get on the field."

Ellsbury suffered the injury on Thursday night in Philadelphia, where he stole a career-high of five bases.