Victorino (back) misses 5th straight game

TORONTO -- With outfielder Shane Victorino missing a fifth straight game Tuesday because of back tightness, the Red Sox are fast approaching a decision on how much longer they can continue to play short-handed.

Manager John Farrell indicated that if Victorino is not ready to play by the end of this three-game set, the Sox would likely to have to make a move.

Victorino hit off a tee Tuesday, the first swings he's taken since his back flared up and forced him out of last Wednesday's game against Oakland, and he did some other exercising in the gym.

"While he is unavailable tonight," Farrell said, "improvement continued to be made."

But it sounded unlikely that he'll be ready to play Wednesday, and if he is a no-go Thursday, the Sox may be forced to place him on the DL.

"We stated before it would be great to get him to the point where he is ready to go, then give him one more day to ensure that," Farrell said. "While he's making progress, we've got to be cautious. It flared up twice in an eight-day period."