- Joe McDonald, ESPN Staff Writer
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PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Shane Victorino said he wanted to push it during his rehab game with the Pawtucket Red Sox on Thursday night at McCoy Stadium, and he was successful, with no ill effects.
He ended up playing all nine innings, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored as the PawSox defeated the Buffalo Bisons, 5-2. Victorino showed no hesitation in any aspect of the game. He's scheduled for one more nine-inning game with the PawSox on Friday, but he's hoping to talk his way into Boston's lineup instead.
"I feel good," Victorino said after the game. "My body felt good. I'll see how I feel tomorrow. Everything tonight came out positive. I tested everywhere I could possibly test myself. I don't know what else I could do. It's also about playing back-to-back games and that's the understanding before getting back, but hopefully I can do some [schmoozing] and talk my way back into being [in Boston on Friday]. I'm scheduled to come back [to Pawtucket] and get another one under my belt, but that could change."
Victorino struck out in his first at-bat Thursday, and flied to center in his second AB. He entered his third at-bat 1-for-33 during his minor league rehab stint, but he snapped that skid, leading off with a single to left field in the bottom of the sixth. He then reached third on a hit-and-run and slid headfirst into the bag. As the ball scooted away from the third baseman, PawSox manager and third-base coach Kevin Boles told Victorino to stay at third, but he got to his feet and sped home to score Pawtucket's second run of the game.
"I heard [Boles] say 'Stay here, stay here, stay here,'" Victorino said. "But I knew where the ball was and it was the instincts of the game and that's what it's all about. I felt good and that's a positive thing. I couldn't test myself any more than I did tonight."
It was a good sign when he returned to right field for the top of the seventh before ending the inning with a running catch.
In the bottom of the seventh, Victorino stepped into the box for his fourth at-bat, and he connected on a chopper to the hole between third and shortstop for his second base hit of the game. He later scored from second on a two-run double by Travis Shaw.
Victorino nearly had an opportunity for a fifth at-bat in the bottom of the eighth, but the inning ended with him on deck. He played right field for the top of the ninth and was pleased with his game.
"To play nine was important to me to find out where my body is at and how I felt," Victorino said. "It's a positive for me and they scheduled me to be here for one more game tomorrow, but hopefully I can do some talking and change that."
Boles was impressed with Victorino's overall game, too.
"All signs were encouraging tonight. The test will be how he feels in the morning," Boles said. "How he felt after the game, everything checked out fine. This was the best we've seen him move -- no doubt about it. He looked like his body, physically, looked like he was in a better place tonight."