Victorino said Sunday his back injury was too much to handle, but he expects to be available off the bench in a pinch.
"This is probably the worst it's been in a while," he said. "That's what's frustrating for me."
David Ortiz and his .727 average this World Series will bat third, one spot up from No. 4, where he's been hitting most of the year.
"I don't have another 10 years on me," Ortiz said. "I don't know when I'm going to be back in the World Series. I have to give everything I have right now."
Ortiz will be protected by Jonny Gomes, who broke an 0-for-9 stretch with a three-run homer in Sunday night's 4-2 victory. Gomes is playing left field, while Daniel Nava, who is batting fifth, will play right field in Victorino's absence.
David Ross is making his second consecutive start behind the plate. He has caught Jon Lester's last three starts, and the Red Sox want to continue to go with a combination that's working.
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (CF)
2. Pedroia (2B)
3. Ortiz (1B)
4. Gomes (LF)
5. Nava (RF)
6. Xander Bogaerts (3B)
7. Stephen Drew (SS)
8. Ross (C)
9. Lester (P)
In attempt to get more men on base in front of the Cards' sluggers, manager Mike Matheny dropped Carlos Beltran from No. 2 to No. 4 and put Shane Robinson, who will bat second, in center field in place of Jon Jay.
Jay is 2-for-13 in this Series, while Robinson is 2-for-5.
"Trying to get some more depth," Matheny said. "Also trying to get more traffic for the guys that can drive in runs. Shane has been doing a nice job taking good at-bats. Gives him an opportunity with [Matt Carpenter] to really set the table and lengthen out our lineup through the middle."
Allen Craig was involved in a late switch. Matt Adams was initially listed as the Cardinals' first baseman, hitting sixth, but Craig was inserted into that spot after it was determined he was healthy enough to play the field.
The Cards have seven players hitting at least .278 during the World Series, while the Red Sox have just one (Ortiz).
Pete Kozma, whose defensive blunders put a damper on the Cardinals' efforts in Game 1, is back in the lineup. He and Daniel Descalso have alternated starts at shortstop in this Series.
1. Carpenter (2B)
2. Robinson (CF)
3. Matt Holliday (LF)
4. Beltran (RF)
5. Yadier Molina (C)
6. Craig (1B)
7. David Freese (3B)
8. Kozma (SS)
9. Adam Wainwright (P)