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Victorino back in action, with brace on left knee

BOSTON -- Shane Victorino, armed with a new brace on his left knee, was back in the lineup for Saturday's contest against the Tigers after sitting out the series opener Friday. He played right field and hit second in the middle game of the weekend set.

The Red Sox sent Victorino for an MRI on Friday when he experienced swelling in the joint after he banged his knee Tuesday against the Twins. The exam came back clean, but the Sox were unsure when he'd return to the lineup until Saturday.

"Last night, after the MRI, he came back in and he felt like, in his view, he was capable," manager John Farrell said. "But we wanted to give it another day of rest."

Victorino had been hot over his prior dozen games -- hitting .340 (17-for-57) with four extra-base hits -- but it wasn't likely he'd be stealing any bases if he got on base. He entered Saturday's game having swiped just one bag in one attempt this season.

Farrell said that is less so a product of injury concerns -- first a balky hamstring last month, and now the knee -- than it is to protect David Ortiz behind him. If Victorino were to steal second, Farrell explained, opposing pitchers might be more likely to pitch around Ortiz.

"And as David has gotten that hot streak, we wouldn't want to tempt the opposition to put him on with an intentional walk," Farrell said. "There's no thought, at this point, to getting [Victorino] out of the two-hole just to let him run more."

Tim Healey is a contributor to
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