Painful flashback: Youkilis sparks memories of Lowell

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Painful flashback: Youkilis sparks memories of Lowell

By Art Martone
CSNNE.com

So why do I think that, any day now, the Red Sox are going to announce that Kevin Youkilis has been shut down for the season?

Because we've seen this act before.

Youkilis is (admirably) attempting to play throw both bursitis in his hip and a sports hernia, though he's not doing it very successfully; he's only 6-for-40 (.150) since coming off the disabled list at the beginning of the month. Plus his range in the field is greatly diminished, as anyone who's seen him attempt to play third base these last few weeks can attest.

So when the Sox announced after Thursday night's loss that Youk is being given Friday night off -- even though they're locked in a life-and-death playoff struggle with the Rays, even though every game is beyond important -- two words leapt to mind.

Mike Lowell.

Lowell also attempted to keep on keeping on in September 2008, even though a hip injury that would eventually require surgery -- and, really, end his days as an everyday player -- had hobbled him to the point that he could barely move. The Sox tried to make it work, but eventually they succumbed to the obvious. He left the lineup on Sept. 16 (kismet!), made one more attempt to come back (playing three innings on Sept. 26), then sat out the rest of the way.

Sound familiar?

The two differences: Youkilis' injuries may not be quite as debilitating (though you couldn't tell by the way he's been playing) and the '08 Sox had options the '11 Sox don't. In '08, they moved a then-healthy Youkilis to third base and played Mark Kotsay and Sean Casey at first. Now, with Jed Lowrie also hurting, the Sox will be forced to go with Mike Aviles at third in some of the biggest games of the year.

Still, after hearing Terry Francona last night -- "He's sore . . . We'll watch him. He's nowhere near pulling the plug onthe season, or anything like that. But it's pretty obvious he'sstruggling out there." -- it just brought back memories of '08.

And led us to contemplate a stretch run with a utility guy from Kansas City in the starting lineup.

Art Martone can be reached at amartone@comcastsportsnet.com.

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Angels score three after overturned call, beat Red Sox, 4-2

Angels score three after overturned call, beat Red Sox, 4-2

BOSTON -- The Los Angeles Angels benefited from a fairly-new rule and relied on an old-fashioned type save to beat the Boston Red Sox.

Parker Bridwell pitched a solid 6 2/3 innings and Los Angeles scored three runs after its challenge overturned an inning-ending double play in the second, leading the Angels to a 4-2 win over the Red Sox on Sunday.

Bridwell (2-0) gave up two runs and seven hits, striking out four without issuing a walk.

Yusmeiro Petit pitched two scoreless innings for his first save.

"I don't care if it's old-fashioned or it's cutting edge, we need them," Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "We need guys to hold leads. Most closers are primarily the one-inning guys that are in that bubble."

Ben Revere had three singles and Kaleb Cowart drove in two runs for Los Angeles, which won two of three against the Red Sox for its fifth series win in the last six.

Doug Fister (0-1) lost his Red Sox debut, giving up three runs and seven hits in six-plus innings. He was signed by Boston on Friday after being released by the Angels.

Mitch Moreland and Jackie Bradley Jr. each hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who lost their second straight at Fenway Park after winning 10 of the previous 12. Boston remained tied with New York atop the AL East.

Bridwell was Fister's teammate at Triple-A Salt Lake before he was let go.

"That's weird," Bridwell said. "I was in the same clubhouse with him a week-and-a-half ago or whatever and we were talking pitching. I was asking him certain things he did along the game, and the next thing you know we're starting against each other on the big-league level."

After the challenge overturned Danny Espinosa's 3-6-3 double play, Los Angeles got to Fister.

"That's modern-day baseball," Scioscia said.

Fister was pleased by his first start with Boston, and 200th of his career.

"Overall, it wasn't a bad day," he said. "They just put together some timely hits and took advantage of well-placed baseballs. That's what good clubs do and that's what they did today."

Espinosa was credited with a fielder's choice and RBI after the review. Cowart followed with an RBI double and Juan Gratetrol had a run-scoring single.

"He's a bang-bang play from a scoreless outing," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

Moreland homered over the Angels' bullpen in the bottom half. Bradley Jr. hit his into the center-field bleachers in the fifth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Angels: Scioscia said LHP Tyler Skaggs was scratched from a scheduled rehab start in the Arizona League on Saturday night with soreness in his oblique and abdominal area.

Red Sox: Farrell said ace lefty David Price has a middle finger-nail issue on his pitching hand, but "is expected" to make his next scheduled start. ... LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, on the 10-day DL with a right knee subluxation, will make a rehab start for Double-A Portland on Thursday after he felt fine following a 68-pitch bullpen session on Saturday.

ROSTER MOVE

The Angels recalled infielder Cowart from Triple-A Salt Lake before the game and optioned RHP Eduardo Paredes there before the game.

INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE

The Red Sox put a message on the center-field board, wishing NESN analyst Jerry Remy: "Best of Luck, Jerry, on your surgery tomorrow!"

The crowd gave him a huge ovation when he was shown on the scoreboard. The popular former Red Sox second baseman (1978-84) waved.

He is being treated for cancer for the fifth time.

NICE PERFORMANCE

Nine-year-old Shea Braceland from Westfield, Mass., got a long and loud ovation when she completed a flawless rendition of the national anthem.

UP NEXT

Angels: Ricky Nolasco (2-9, 5.23 ERA) is set to face Dodgers LHP Rich Hill (4-3, 4.73) when the teams open a two-game series at Dodger Stadium on Monday. Nolasco has lost his last seven decisions.

Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (9-3, 2.85) is in line to work against Minnesota RHP Jose Berrios (7-1, 2.67) when the teams open a four-game series in Fenway Monday. Sale leads the majors with 146 strikeouts.