Victorino begins rehab Thursday

BOSTON -- Wednesday night's Sox-Rangers matchup is Boston's 60th game of the season. Shane Victorino has appeared in 34 of them or slightly more than half.

On Thursday, the switch-hitting outfielder, who missed his 15th straight game because of a strained left hamstring, will take a significant step toward returning to the lineup when he begins a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. He’ll play a minimum of three games there, Sox manager John Farrell said.

“It’ll probably be five innings the first day, likely DH the second game and then get back in right field in Game 3," Farrell said Wednesday afternoon. “We have already spoken to Shane that upon his return, we’ve got to manage how many consecutive games he plays a little bit more diligently than previously.

“So it wouldn’t be uncommon to see him two on, one off for the short term.”

Victorino has had some relapses of back and hamstring issues that knocked him out of the lineup intermittently repeatedly before this latest stint. Just before going on the DL, he missed a three-game set in Minnesota and then came back for one game.

Since going on the DL, the Sox have leaned on Daniel Nava in right field, a position they never would have entrusted him with before this season.

He made just two starts in right before this season, but Wednesday night, Farrell put him in right for the 25th time this season. The Sox are 16-8 with Nava in that position.