Youkilis: 'I haven't been told anything'

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Youkilis: 'I haven't been told anything'

BOSTON Kevin Youkilis is out of the Red Sox starting lineup for the third straight game, as trade rumors continue to swirl around him, and as Will Middlebrooks continues to perform.

I have no thoughts on anything, Youkilis said in the Sox clubhouse before Saturdays game against the Braves. I havent been told anything so until Im told anything I can't really respond.

You want to play. I definitely want to play. You want to play the game, you want to enjoy it and you want to have fun. I dont know my situation. I never was told whats going on here. Lets put that straight. And Ill leave it at that. I dont want to start up anything. There was no conversation. That was it. but it has been addressed.

The statement is contrary to what manager Bobby Valentine indicated on Friday, when he said the situation had been addressed with Youkilis.

Before the lineup was put up? Thats true, Valentine said Saturday.

Asked when he specifically had that conversation with Youkilis, Valentine replied:

Im not going to go there. Because I dont want to pull out date books and all that kind of stuff.

But Valentine stressed there was a conversation with Youkilis on Friday.

I did yesterday, but not before the lineup was up, Valentine said. But Im not going there. I thought the question yesterday was whether he was spoken to before the game, before the lineup when I came up here to speak with the media and I said yes. I didnt speak to him. I thought he was spoken to. If he wasnt spoken to and he didnt understand, I made a mistake. And you know, somehow in life we all make mistakes. But I thought he was spoken to.

Valentine also said Friday he would play the hot hand. In this case it is Middlebrooks at third base.

Im just trying to play the people that I want to be in the lineup, Valentine said. I think thats one of the things Im allowed to do.

Valentine acknowledged it has not been easy managing the YoukilisMiddlebrooks situation.

And difficult and stressful, all those things, Valentine said.

Baseballs an interesting game and a lot of things are happening and happen in baseball that you have to adjust to. So Im trying to adjust to everything thats happening.

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

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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?