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Victorino, Hanigan making strides in rehab

BOSTON -- The Red Sox have spent much of the season without two important pieces from their Opening Day lineup, but the club offered some promising news on that front Tuesday. Shane Victorino is set to join catcher Ryan Hanigan at Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday night, as the outfielder is on track to begin a rehab assignment while Hanigan continues his own.

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For Victorino, this would be his first live game action since he landed on the 15-day disabled list with a left calf strain on May 24. On Tuesday, the 34-year-old took pregame batting practice, engaged in a set of baserunning drills and did some light jogging around the warning track.

"We're hopeful he's going out tomorrow to get into a game," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

Victorino also missed time while dealing with a balky right hamstring, which forced the Red Sox to shelve him from April 23-May 11. The veteran has played in only 20 games this season, hitting .255 with a .379 on-base percentage.

The Sox made the path for Victorino's return a little easier after optioning outfielder Rusney Castillo to Pawtucket on Tuesday.

Hanigan, sidelined since May 2 after undergoing surgery on a fractured right hand, began his Minor League rehab assignment with Pawtucket on Monday. He caught six innings and went 0-for-3 with a run scored at the plate.

Hanigan, who served as the designated hitter and batted third for the PawSox on Tuesday, will spend another game at catcher on Wednesday before transferring over to Double-A Portland as that affiliate returns home.

At the earliest, Hanigan is eligible for activation from the 60-day DL on July 1.

"The whole thought is to get him back to back nine-inning games -- hopefully within the next week," Farrell said.

Worth noting

Daniel Nava (left thumb strain) did some hitting in the cage on Tuesday and hopes to begin taking batting practice sometime in the near future. The Sox sent the outfielder to the 15-day DL last month, retroactive to May 26. Nava said it was an important day as far as seeing how much recovery progress he has made.

Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for
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