Youkilis ready for first base, 'excited to play'


Youkilis ready for first base, 'excited to play'

BALTIMORE -- A little more than three weeks after being placed on the DL with lower back soreness, Kevin Youkilis returned to the lineup Tuesday.

Instead of his familiar spot at third base, however, Youkilis was at first base, with Adrian Gonzalez shifting to right field and rookie Will Middlebrooks remaining, for now, at third base.

"I'm good . . . good to go," said Youkilis.

As for returning to first, Youkilis didn't believe that would be much of an issue.

"I played it for many years," he said. "I'm good to go. I'm excited to play. They asked me, 'Are you OK playing first base?' I played first base for five years in my career. It's not like they asked me to play center."

"He said first base would be no problem at all," said manager Bobby Valentine. "He was ready to do whatever it took to help the team."

Youkilis said he achieved his goal of "being healthy and able to play" while on a week-long rehab stint with Pawtucket.

"I swung the bat good," he said. "I was just trying to get back into the swing of things and I felt good (Monday), so, doing good."

While manager Bobby Valentine has said he'll check with Youkilis to determine how much he can play right away, Youkilis didn't feel he had any restrictions.

"I think I'm capable of playing every day," said Youkilis. "I'm just excited about tonight and hopefully, I can do something good for this team."

"I told him, 'Just let me know,'" said Valentine, "and we'll take it day-by-day."

Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'capable of more' vs. lefties


Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'capable of more' vs. lefties

CHICAGO -- Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 4-1 loss to Chicago:



"He's rarely in the middle of the plate. He pitches to the edge very effectively. He's got a number of different looks he can give you.'' - John Farrell on White Sox starter Jose Quintana.

"We have such a heavily righthand-hitting lineup, you would think that our guys would be able to handle the off-side pitching coming at them. . . We're capable of more.'' - Farrell on the Sox 0-3 record against lefty starters.

"He's done everything that we could have asked, to get deep into games and low run situations -- and not just this year. This goes back to when he was in the rotation last year.'' - Farrell on tough-luck loser Steven Wright.

"That's what I'm working for every time.'' - Carson Smith on his scoreless inning in his Red Sox debut.

"It is what it is. Keep working and try to be ready on whatever opportunities come. That's all I can say about that.'' - Chris Young, on the infrequency of lefty starters.

"A little frustrated with the walks. I gave them the second run with the walks. When I'm out there throwing 20 pitches an inning, it's hard to get into a rhythm.'' - Steven Wright.



* The Red Sox have faced three lefty starters this season and are 0-3. They've managed two runs in 23 innings and hit just .108 (8-for-74) against them.

* When the opposition scores first, the Red Sox are 5-6 this season.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to nine games with a sixth-inning single.

* Dating back to last season, Steven Wright hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in his last nine starts.

* Hanley Ramirez's homer in the fifth was his first since April 6, covering 96 at-bats.



1) Jose Quintana

Chicago's starter was brilliant, allowing a single run in eight innings on just four hits without issuing a walk.

2) Jose Abreu

The White Sox first baseman drove in three of the four White Sox runs with a first-inning triple and a two-run double in the eighth.

3) Steven Wright

Once again, the knuckballer got almost no run support and was stuck with the loss despite allowing just two runs in six innings.