Victorino was scratched from Game 4 of the World Series on Sunday because of lower back stiffness. Jonny Gomes, Victorino's replacement in the batting order, then hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in a 4-2 win that tied the Series against St. Louis at two games apiece.
"Shane is much improved from yesterday and probably could have started today, so he's available at full capacity," Red Sox manager John Farrell said before Game 5. "The only question going into today was the duration in which he might be on the field. So rather than putting ourselves in a position where if we've got to make a move and force our hand to eliminate a player, this way we can use him at our discretion."
Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Gomes each moved up a spot in the batting order, with Pedroia batting second, Ortiz third and Gomes starting a game at cleanup for the fourth time this year, according to STATS. Daniel Nava was dropped from second to fifth.
Nava was in right field in place of Victorino for the second straight day.
"With the change in lineup, I feel like we need to lengthen out the lineup behind David," Farrell said. "We haven't really put together many big innings, and that's a credit to their pitching. We feel the more we can lengthen out and give ourselves chances up and down the lineup, that's where we're at today."
Boston's Nos. 7-9 hitters were 2 for 43 (.047) with two walks and three RBIs in the first four games.