Youkilis (back) scratched from Sunday's game

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Youkilis (back) scratched from Sunday's game

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Third baseman Kevin Youkilis was scratched from Sunday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays, the victim of some stiffness in his lower back.

"He had three at-bats (Saturday), '' said manager Bobby Valentine, "and he had a little stiffness in his lower back, so he stayed back for treatment. He'll get some minor league at-bats (Monday), so he can get caught up. He'll get as many as he needs.''

In minor league games, managers can control game situations, so Youkilis will lead off every inning, but will be instructed not to run the bases to avoid further stress.

Youkilis is hitting .214 in Grapefruit League play this spring with six hits in 28 at-bats and two RBI.

OFFSEASON

Report: Celtics secure meeting with Dwight Howard

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Report: Celtics secure meeting with Dwight Howard

In February, the Boston Celtics were involved in trade deadline talks with the Houston Rockets involving center Dwight Howard.

It appears the team still has interest in the free-agent big man. 

According to ESPN, the Celtics have secured a meeting with Howard after July 1.

Howard, 30, became a free agent after declining a player option that would have paid him more the $23 million in 2016-17 

Shaughnessy: Red Sox have a chance to flip this around

Shaughnessy: Red Sox have a chance to flip this around

Mike Felger and Dan Shaughnessy discuss the Boston Red Sox bouncing back from their slump with a win over the Tampa Bay Rays.