04/22/2013 9:14 PM ET
Victorino returns to lineup for opener vs. A's
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
BOSTON -- After missing Sunday's day-night doubleheader with tightness in his lower back, Shane Victorino was back in the lineup on Monday, batting second against the Athletics.
Perhaps it's no coincidence that the Red Sox were swept on Sunday and had their seven-game winning streak snapped when Victorino missed his first two games of the season.
"The job he's done to date has been outstanding, particularly from the left side of the plate," said manager John Farrell. "His presence in the two-hole gives us a guy that can handle the bat. He's gotten on base at a high rate. It also puts Daniel [Nava] back down in that five-, six-hole area, where he's had some big at-bats for us. With he and David [Ortiz] in the lineup, it just lengthens it out and gives us quite a bit of balance."
The Red Sox still haven't seen their full potential offensively. Ortiz on Monday made just his third start of the season in his return from an injured right Achilles, and Will Middlebrooks and Stephen Drew are both slumping mightily.
Entering Monday's game, Drew was batting .100. He started the season late after sustaining a concussion on March 7.
"I just think it's a matter of at-bats for Stephen before things begin to click with him, because it's not a flaw in the swing or anything like that," Farrell said. "It's just a matter of getting some consistent timing and building some confidence on his end."
Red Sox join statewide moment of silence
BOSTON -- The normal hustle and bustle that takes place in the Red Sox's executive offices in the hours leading up to a game took a momentary break on Monday afternoon.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick suggested that the entire state take a one-minute moment of silence at 2:50 p.m. -- the exact one-week anniversary of when multiple bombs went off at the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring 176.
Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino joined a gathering of club employees in a central area on the third floor of the team's offices at 4 Yawkey Way.
Moments before the silence began, executive vice president Charles Steinberg noted what had been going on immediately before tragedy struck.
The Red Sox had completed a walk-off win over the Rays on Mike Napoli's double off the Green Monster, and all kids were invited to run the bases immediately after the game.
"The last kids had just finished running the bases, and I looked up at the scoreboard, and it said 2:47," Steinberg said to the gathering of employees. "I walked down the hall, and [assistant] Jackie [Dempsey] and I were talking and I said, 'What a great day.' She said, 'Perfect.' We got back here into the offices, and it was 2:50."
Steinberg kept tabs on the time, and as it closed in on 2:50, he said, "In just a few seconds, we'll do it for a minute as you think about those whom we lost and those who were hospitalized and those whose injuries are going to change their lives forever."
Lucchino then said a few thoughtful words to his staff, and everyone then went back to their workday.
"I think it was fitting, and I know a lot of people around the Red Sox offices were touched," Lucchino said of the idea the Governor had for the entire state to go silent for a minute.
The Red Sox have been supportive for the entire week in the face of the events, including hanging a uniform in the dugout on a daily basis that says "BOSTON 617 STRONG" on the back.
"It's been an incredibly difficult week for everyone," said Lucchino. "Every opportunity to remember the people who were killed or seriously injured is one we should take. We want to return to normality, but not before we do what has to be done to remember the victims."
Hanrahan's comeback takes big step
BOSTON -- Right-hander Joel Hanrahan took a significant step in his comeback from an injured right hamstring on Monday, when he threw roughly 30 pitches off a mound.
"Yeah, 30 pitches in the bullpen, mostly fastballs, everything felt good," Hanrahan said.
It was a good sign that Hanrahan's leg didn't flare up when he got back on the slope, as he had been throwing off flat ground for several days.
Hanrahan will throw another bullpen session on Wednesday and perhaps embark on a Minor League rehab assignment by the weekend. He will probably pitch twice in the Minors before returning to the Red Sox.
Andrew Bailey, who on Monday was named the American League's co-Player of the Week, along with Mike Napoli, has done a nice job in the closer role since Hanrahan has been out.
Manager John Farrell isn't ready to announce how the late innings will shake out when Hanrahan returns.
"I think we'll get through the rehab assignments and get him back here before we address that," said Farrell. "I think it's probably a little bit premature to state anything along those lines."
Lackey starts rehab assignment in strong fashion
BOSTON -- Right-hander John Lackey had a strong opening to his Minor League rehab assignment on Monday night, firing 3 2/3 shutout innings at Double-A Portland.
Lackey gave up three hits while walking two and striking out five. He threw 67 pitches, 45 for strikes.
This was the first game action for Lackey since April 6, when he strained his right bicep in a game against the Blue Jays.
He will need at least one more Minor League start before he is ready to rejoin the Red Sox.
Lefty relievers Craig Breslow and Franklin Morales are also on the rehab trail this week. Breslow will pitch on Tuesday for Portland. Morales, who is being stretched out as a starter, pitched on Wednesday night at Portland.
The original schedule had Morales piggybacking Lackey on Monday, but that changed when Morales had some soreness in his left pectoral muscle.