6/15/2014 8:14 P.M. ET
Farrell pleased with Drew's play in first game back
Boston shortstop had missed six straight games with strained right oblique
By Steven Petrella / MLB.com
BOSTON -- Shortstop Stephen Drew returned to the Red Sox lineup Sunday after missing the last six games with a strained right oblique. He went 2-for-4 with a stolen base and a pair of strikeouts in a 3-2 loss to the Indians.
Drew had a chance to end the game with runners on first and second and one out in the bottom of the ninth, but struck out.
Manager John Farrell said Drew had no physical setbacks during the game, and he was encouraged by the way his shortstop swung the bat, especially after missing the entire week.
"You see some consistent timing coming in as he gets more at-bats, even with the four or days down," Farrell said.
Drew took batting practice with ramped-up intensity and fielded ground balls with no visible discomfort before Saturday's game against the Indians. After the game, Farrell said Drew would be available and wouldn't need an MRI because he passed all his pregame tests. If Drew hadn't passed, a trip to the disabled list would have been a possibility.
"He passed his tests as far as swinging the bat with increased intensity," Farrell said. "All the defensive work that he's gone through really never produced symptoms in the oblique, so he's in there today."
Drew said it was frustrating being held out with an injury he's never dealt with before because he wanted to take it slow and make sure he was truly 100 percent.
"I'm just saying, like, taking more swings day-by-day, and that's a good thing," Drew said. "Going to take it slow and I have to do some more things and make it game speed-like and go from there."
The 31-year-old was 1-for-14 entering Sunday since rejoining the club nearly two weeks ago. He signed a one-year deal worth about $10 million on May 20 after rejecting the club's qualifying offer this offseason. He hit .253/.333/.433 in 124 games last season as Boston's starting shortstop.
"You don't have the benefit of a gradual buildup that Spring Training would provide," Farrell said. "Not only is he coming back into full speed, but he's coming back to face pitching that's now got 2 1/2 months under their belt.
"Getting his timing back at the big league level is a challenge. Not only for him, but for anybody that would miss two full months."
Bogaerts doesn't start due to flu; Holt at third
BOSTON --- The Red Sox held third baseman Xander Bogaerts out of the starting lineup Sunday due to a fever and flu-like symptoms, manager John Farrell said.
"We've kept him away from the group as much as we can this morning," Farrell said. "Hopefully this doesn't become something that spreads throughout [the clubhouse]. Hopefully he's back in the lineup [Monday]."
Hot-hitting Brock Holt stayed in the leadoff spot and played third base in place of Bogaerts. He played right field Saturday as Farrell and the staff continue to test his defensive versatility. Holt, who came up in the Pirates organization as a second baseman, has played third, first, right and left field this season for the Red Sox.
Holt had a .338/.377/.468 slash line in 139 at-bats entering Sunday's game.
Bogaerts was used a pinch-runner in the ninth inning of Sunday's 3-2 loss, but he did not play the field.
Victorino, Middlebrooks continue rehab stint
BOSTON --- Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino and third baseman Will Middlebrooks rehabbed at Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday and will start for the Paw Sox again Monday and be reevaluated later in the week.
Victorino has been slowed all season by a hamstring injury and went hitless in two at-bats. Farrell said the outfielder will play more than the five innings he saw Saturday in the next two days.
Middlebrooks went 1-for-3 as a designated hitter while he recovers from a broken right index finger. When he does come off the disabled list, he'll rejoin a crowded infield in Boston. That's why Farrell may try him in the outfield during this rehab stint.
"We may take a look at him in the outfield just to answer any questions of flexibility that we can before a decision on the roster is to be made," Farrell said. "If that gives us ability to find at-bats for Will if he were to come back here in that capacity, so be it."
Middlebrooks is batting .197/.305/.324 in 71 at-bats this season.
Sox yet to determine next step for Buchholz
BOSTON -- Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz threw all four of his pitches and was pleased with his command in his first rehab start with Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday. He's been on the disabled list since May 28 with a hyperextended left knee, but as of Sunday morning, Buchholz and manager John Farrell had not met to determine the next step in the rehab process.
"One of the things we'll have to consider is the number of pitches that he's currently built up to and what he'll be required or likely asked to do once he's back in our rotation," Farrell said. "That's the one thing we've got to kind of work through right now."
Buchholz surrendered three runs, including a pair of solo homers, four hits and struck out five. He threw 42 of his 62 pitches for strikes.
"Overall, I felt really good with everything, how I came out," Buchholz said. "Command was pretty good. When I missed with a pitch, I was able to correct it. That was the struggle for me for the last couple starts up there, so that's the main thing I wanted to get down here and do."
Buchholz has a 7.02 ERA, 1.98 WHIP and 1.63 K/BB ratio in 10 starts for the Red Sox. In 2013, he went 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA and a 1.025 WHIP.
• Left-hander Felix Doubront, who has been dealing with a strained left shoulder for more than three weeks, made his third rehab start Sunday.
Scheduled to throw 90 to 95 pitches for Triple-A Pawtucket, Doubront didn't allow a hit, walked four and fanned 10 over five innings against Charlotte. He threw 93 pitches, 50 for strikes.
Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.