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Middlebrooks gets rehab start with Triple-A Pawtucket

Middlebrooks gets rehab start with Triple-A Pawtucket

BOSTON -- Will Middlebrooks made the first step toward returning to the Red Sox on Tuesday night as he played five innings at third base in a rehab start with Triple-A Pawtucket.

Middlebrooks, who has been out with a lower back strain, hit third and went 1-for-2 at the plate with a walk.

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"I felt great," he said, according to the Providence Journal. "I really expected to come here and feel some tightness when I got done. I don't feel any, so that's a good sign."

He's expected to be in Pawtucket through Friday before returning to the Red Sox when he's eligible to be activated from the disabled list on Saturday.

"We'll re-evaluate where things are at that point," said Red Sox manager John Farrell.

Jose Iglesias has been filling in for Middlebrooks at third.

Jason Mastrodonato is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @jmastrodonato. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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