Victorino, Leon come through at bottom of order


BOSTON - Shane Victorino made his return to the Red Sox on Saturday and seemed to pick up right where he left off for them.

Before Victorino hit the disabled list, he was actually hitting pretty well for them. He took the field on Saturday in the midst of a six-game hitting streak and had reached base in each of his previous seven games, batting .563 with a .632 OBP and .813 slugging percentage.

His hitting streak was extended to seven games on Saturday, as Victorino returned and went 2-for-4 out of the eighth spot in the order, scoring two runs along the way. He singled in his first at-bat of the game (WATCH) and again in his last. He's now 11-for-20 with four runs, a double, a home run, an RBI and three walks over his past seven games.

"He steps right back in with a couple of base hits," Farrell said of Victorino. "We all know the start and stop of his season, but to have another guy in the bottom of the order right now with base stealing ability, two base hits against a right-hander today, very encouraging."

But Victorino was not alone in his production at the bottom of the order. While the Sox 4-7 hitters combined to go 0-for-16 (not counting replacement Alejandro De Aza's single - though it was pretty sweet, so watch it here), Victorino and the No. 9 hitter, catcher Sandy Leon, combined to go 5-for-8, as Leon smacked three singles and scored twice himself.

Leon is certainly not known for his bat. The three hits raised his average to .174 on the season. He plays because he and Clay Buchholz have a great thing going on, as evidenced by Buchholz's performance this season. The hits on the day are an added bonus, but something that doesn't go unnoticed.

"Sandy is a good player," Buchholz said. "It's tough to do once every five days go out and try to hit big league pitching. That's been everybody's knock on him as he's not as strong of a hitter as a couple other guys. But he doesn't get to do it quite as often. You do that with anybody it's tough to go out there and hit when you haven't been in the box four or five days.

"So I tip my cap to him for going out there not letting batting affect what he's doing behind the plate because he could very easily do that. That's just not the way he works. It's catching over hitting when he's not hitting. He gets a couple knocks, and that's good too."

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