Youkilis has not begun baseball activities yet


Youkilis has not begun baseball activities yet

BOSTON Third baseman Kevin Youkilis has been on the disabled list with a low back strain retroactive to April 29 and is eligible to come off Monday. But he has not begun baseball activities yet, and is not sure of a timetable.

No, they havent given me that. Im just basically following their orders, Youkilis said. The past couple of days it felt great, been moving around and doing what they tell me to do and hopefully soon I can do baseball activities. Pretty excited to get back and playing.

He has been working on cardio exercises and core-strengthening activities.

I just want to come back, he said. I feel good but they want to make sure I can be healthy all year. So its tough. Its tough to watch and not be a part of. For me personally, I just hate watching baseball and love to play it. Hopefully these guys can turn around tonight and get a win and try to win the series.

Youkilis has been impressed with the play of Will Middlebrooks, who has taken his place at third.Middlebrooks is batting .346 with three home runs and nine RBI in six games. He hit home runs down the left and right field lines on Monday in Kansas City.

Its awesome, Youkilis said. I was watching the game and I was just joking, I was like they should put a foul pole in center field so he can hit it off that too. But it was pretty amazing to watch and its great. Its great for him to come up here on this stage and perform at a high level.

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss


Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

NEW YORK -- It had the potential to be the most awkward celebration ever.

In the top of the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium, before their game was complete, the Red Sox became American League East champions, by virtue of one other division rival -- Baltimore -- coming back to beat another -- Toronto -- in the ninth inning.

That eliminated the Blue Jays from the division race, and made the Sox division champs.

But that ninth inning reversal of fortune was about to visit the Red Sox, too.

Craig Kimbrel faced four hitters and allowed a single and three straight walks, leading to a run. When, after 28 pitches, he couldn't get an out, he was lifted for Joe Kelly, who recorded one out, then yielded a walk-off grand slam to Mark Teixeira.

The Yankees celebrated wildly on the field, while the Red Sox trudged into the dugout, beset with mixed emotions.

Yes, they had just lost a game that seemed theirs. But they also had accomplished something that had taken 158 games.

What to do?

The Sox decided to drown their temporary sorrows in champagne.

"As soon as we got in here,'' said Jackie Bradley Jr., "we quickly got over it.''

From the top of the eighth until the start of the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox seemed headed in a conventional celebration.

A two-run, bases-loaded double by Mookie Betts and a wild pitch -- the latter enabling David Ortiz to slide into home and dislodge the ball from former teammate Tommy Layne's glove --- had given the Sox a 3-0 lead.

Koji Uehara worked around a walk to post a scoreless walk and after the top of the ninth, the Sox called on Craig Kimbrel, who had successfully closed out all but two save opportunities all season.

But Kimbrel quickly allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner and then began pitching as though he forgot how to throw strikes. Three straight walks resulted in a run in and the bases loaded.

Joe Kelly got an out, but then Teixeira, for the second time this week, produced a game-winning homer in the ninth. On Monday, he had homered in Toronto to turn a Blue Jays win into a loss, and now, here he was again.

It may have been a rather meaningless victory for the Yankees -- who remain barely alive for the wild card -- but it did prevent them the indignity of watching the Red Sox celebrate on their lawn.

Instead, the Sox wore the shame of the walk-off -- at least until they reached their clubhouse, where the partying began in earnest.

It had taken clubhouse attendants less than five minutes to cover the floor and lockers with plastic protective sheets. In a matter of a few more minutes, the air was filled with a mix of beer and bubbly.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wore a goggles and only socks on his feet.

As the spray reached every inch of the clubhouse, David Ortiz exclaimed: "I'm going to drown in this man.''

Defeat? What defeat?