Youkilis ready for first base, 'excited to play'

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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."

Sunday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Holt in for Pedroia at second base

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Sunday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Holt in for Pedroia at second base

The Boston Red Sox close out their three-game series against the Kansas City Royals without second baseman Dustin Pedroia. 

Brock Holt will be at second base for Pedroia who will miss the game, reportedly attending to a family matter.

Eduardo Rodriguez (2-5, 5.11 ERA) will be on the mound for the Sox, facing off against Yordano Ventura (9-9, 4.27 ERA).

The lineups:

ROYALS
Paulo Orlando CF
Cheslor Cuthbert 3B
Lorenzo Cain RF
Eric Hosmer 1B
Kendrys Morales DH
Salvador Perez C
Alex Gordon LF
Alcides Escobar SS
Raul Mondesi 2B
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Yordano Ventura RHP

RED SOX
Brock Holt 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Travis Shaw 3B
Chris Young LF
Sandy Leon C
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
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Eduardo Rodriguez LHP