Youk gets everything but a win

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Youk gets everything but a win

As return engagements go, Kevin Youkilis had a pretty good one.

Returning to Fenway Park as a member of the Chicago White Sox, Youkilis enjoyed an almost perfect night. He was given a standing ovation before his first at-bat in the first inning, then added three hits -- a single and two doubles -- in four plate appearances.

All that was missing was a win, as his present team lost to his former team, 5-1.

"It was a great ovation and a cool thing from the fans,'' said Youkilis of the warm reception. "Theyve been great to me and I cant say thank you enough for the support theyve given me."

To acknowledge the standing ovation, Youkilis took off his helmet and waved to the ballpark from outside the batter's box.

"The place was pretty loud and rocking and it was cool,'' he recounted. "So I said thank you to everyone. I just wish could have ended better and wish we could have won.

Making the night even more special for Youkilis was facing Aaron Cook, whom he's known for years, having both grown up in Cincinnati. He and Cook share the same agent.

All three of Youkilis's hits come off Cook.

"It was cool to face Aaron because since I grew up with him and I faced him a lot,'' said Youkilis. "It was only fitting to have him on the mound. I know hes really mad at me, but (they) got the win, so its a good thing.

Youkilis also flashed some aggressive baserunning. After singling in the first, he took second as Adam Dunn grounded to the right side.

With the Red Sox shifted over on Dunn -- third baseman Will Middlebrooks was over near second base -- Youkilis saw an opportunity to go from second to third.

Adrian Gonzalez tried to lead a throw to Middlebrooks as the rookie scurried to get back in position to tag out Middlebrooks.

Hes got nothing on me,'' said Youkilis of his replacement. "Hes 23 years old. I think I can beat him in race. Thats unbelievable. I was joking with him, yelling at him, come on, Will. He hit that dirt and fell down,

I knew I had him. It was like going in the end zone in a football game.

Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'

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Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'

Forget that cryptic Tweet to the Globe. David Ortiz isn't walking through that door, fans. At least not as a player.

"My playing time has already expired," Ortiz told ESPN Deportes. "Baseball is not something that you wake up today and you say, 'I'll play tomorrow.' Baseball is something that carries a lot of sacrifice, a lot of preparation, and there is a reason why we train the entire year to play it, practice every day, especially during the season, because it is a sport of consistency."

No one really thought he was contemplating a comeback, but last week he Tweeted this . . .

. . . and that raised hopes that he'd changed his mind.

Not so.

 

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.

Terms of the deals were not announced.

It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.