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Middlebrooks, Victorino take batting practice

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- At a time the Red Sox are lacking for offense, the fact that Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks both took batting practice Friday at Yankee Stadium was a welcome sight.

Both players are on the disabled list, Victorino with a right hamstring strain and Middlebrooks with a right calf strain.

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NEW YORK -- At a time the Red Sox are lacking for offense, the fact that Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks both took batting practice Friday at Yankee Stadium was a welcome sight.

Both players are on the disabled list, Victorino with a right hamstring strain and Middlebrooks with a right calf strain.

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If all goes well, the Red Sox will send Victorino out on a short Minor League rehab assignment by next weekend, setting him up for a possible return to action in about 10 days.

"Actually, on Tuesday he went through some light running back in Fenway," said manager John Farrell. "So it's part of the progression that he's going through, and then optimistically, once we get through the end of the Chicago series, we'll get a better read on when the potential for a rehab assignment is coming."

Middlebrooks hasn't been cleared to run yet.

"Today, I took BP, I took ground balls," said Middlebrooks. "It's not there yet. It was good to get out there and move around and see where I'm at. In my opinion, I think I'll be fine when my time is up. I don't think it will take much more than that. Hopefully I'll be able to get a [Minor League] game or two before that."

The Red Sox rank 13th in the American League with 3.6 runs per game. Victorino hasn't played at all this season, and Middlebrooks played the first four games.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.

Boston Red Sox, Will Middlebrooks, Shane Victorino