Bad backs sideline Youkilis, Scutaro

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Bad backs sideline Youkilis, Scutaro

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins InsiderFollow @hackswithhaggs
SEATTLE Kevin Youkilis and Marco Scutaro were originally in the Red Sox' lineup Friday night, but both were scratched after complaining of back soreness.

Youkilis was scratched first, and Jed Lowrie was put in his place at third base. Then, after Scutaro came out of the lineup, Lowrie moved to shortstop and Mike Aviles was placed at third.

Youkilis said it was precautionary in nature and that he felt it pull a little bit during the Minnesota series, and that he was hoping to avoid locking his back up and missing three days due to a nagging injury.

It tightened up on my left side. I tried to hit and work through it and it never really loosened up, said Youkilis, who said he expected to be available if Terry Francona needed a pinch hitter late in the game. If I go out there today and try to play through it I might lock it up and be out for three days. So I talked to Tito and he said well rest it tonight and get it going tomorrow.

Scutaro similarly is not expected to be sidelined long.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

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Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

The Boston Red Sox put up six runs in the first inning and coasted to a 9-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. led the way for the Red Sox with four and three RBI respectfully. Both outfielders had two-run home runs in the Sox’ big first inning.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright gave up one earned run in four innings, his ERA for the spring is now 0.68.

The Red Sox are back in action again on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m when Rick Porcello makes his final spring training start against the Minnesota Twins.

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Infielder Marco Hernandez may make the Red Sox roster after all.

Fellow infielder Josh Rutledge, the presumptive 25th man on the Red Sox, suffered a left hamstring strain on Tuesday against the Pirates, according to reporters in Florida, including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald.

If Rutledge isn’t ready for opening day, Hernandez, a left-handed hitter, may have his crack. 

The question is whether the Sox would be comfortable without a right-handed bat to complement both Pablo Sandoval and Mitch Moreland on the corners. Rutledge was going to give the Sox that right-handed look they sought. (When Hanley Ramirez's shoulder will be healthy enough to play first base is unclear, but isn't expected to be too long.)

Neither Rutledge nor Hernandez has played first base in the majors or minors.

A big-league rookie last year, Hernandez has done decently against lefties at the upper levels of the minors, hitting .328 vs. them at Triple-A Pawtucket last season in 67 at-bats. He hit .315 in 54 at-bats at Pawtucket, with a .318 average against them that season in 88 at-bats for Double-A Portland.

Rutledge is a Rule 5 draft pick who has to remain on the major league 25-man roster the whole season or the Sox risk losing him. Placement on the disabled list doesn’t affect his status unless he’s on the disabled list for a very lengthy time.

An alternative option is Steve Selsky, who has first-base experience, but he's already been optioned.