Next step for Buchholz still unclear

BOSTON -- Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz on Sunday said he felt good after working his first rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket Saturday afternoon at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, R.I.

The right-hander tossed 4 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on four hits, including a pair of solo home runs. As of early Sunday morning, Buchholz and Farrell had not discussed the pitcher’s next step.

“Overall strike throwing was improved. Report on just sheer arm strength and velocity was increased,” Farrell said of Buchholz’s outing.

Since Buchholz threw only 62 pitches on Saturday, Farrell said the team will take that into consideration when deciding the next step.

* Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino and third baseman Will Middlebrooks are in Boston for Sunday's game, but both will return to Pawtucket to continue their rehab stints Monday.

On Saturday in Pawtucket, Victorino (hamstring) went 0-for-2 and played five innings in right field. Middlebrooks (finger) went 1-for-3 as the PawSox DH. On Monday, Victorino will increase his workload. Farrell also said once Middlebrooks is healthy, there’s a possibility he will get a look in the outfield.

“Our intent is to get him back in the flow of things playing at those two positions, that would be at third base and at DH,” Farrell said. “Once we get into the rehab progress or plan a week to 10 days, we may take a look at him in the outfield just to answer any questions of flexibility that we can before a decision on the roster is to be made. If that gives us ability to find at-bats for Will if he were to come back here in that capacity, so be it.”