Red Sox notes: Youk returns to lineup


Red Sox notes: Youk returns to lineup

By Maureen Mullen Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON -- Kevin Youkilis, who had been on the disabled list since Aug. 18 with a low back strain, was back in the lineup Friday against the Rangers, playing third and batting fourth.

No one in this clubhouse is 100 percent healthy, Youkilis said. Its September and we just go out and play the game. But I feel pretty good right now, Im just ready to play ball.

"I feel good. Can run, can throw, and I can hit. Those are the things you need to do to play the game. So, for now Im just going out there and doing it.

Manager Terry Francona was happy to have Youkilis back.

Its good," he said. "One big hitter in the middle makes everybody better.

Sometimes its a forced break because of one thing helps the rest of your body. He was so beat up, he was hitting balls off both ankles and the way he attacks first base when he runs over it. I just think . . . Im sure he doesnt feel like its the first game of the year but I think it'll do him some good.

Youkilis went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in the game.

With Tim Wakefield not scheduled to start again until Wednesday in Toronto, the Sox had him ready in the bullpen if the need arose. And it arose Friday night, when he threw four scoreless relief innings -- his longest relief outing since going 5 13 innings on May 11, 2002, inSeattle -- after the score got to be 10-0.

The Sox two hits match a season low. They alsohad just two hits on June 28 in Philadelphia, a complete-game shutout by cliffLee.

The Sox were shutout for the 10thtime this season, the most since 11 shutouts in 1992. The 10-0 loss to theRangers matches their largest shutout loss to Texas, with a 10-0 loss on April27, 1981, in Texas.

Michael Bowden had a career-high five strikeoutsin 2 23 innings, the most by a Sox reliever since Scott Atchisons fivestrikeouts on June 18, 2010, against the Dodgers. He struck out the side inorder for the second time in his career in the third inning.

Carl Crawford was a game-time scratch because ofillness. Conor Jackson took his place in left field, making his Red Sox debut, and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

David Ortiz went 0-for-3, snapping a season-high15-game hitting streak.

Ian Kinsler has a 16-game hitting streak againstthe Sox, going 21-for-63 (.333) witheight home runs and 13 RBI since July 21, 2009.It is the second-longest in Rangers history, behind Rafael Palmeiros19-gamer from April 28, 1989. June 30, 1990.
The Rangers tied a team record with their 17th shutout(also in 1977). Their 12 road shutouts are the most in the majors since theBraves 12 in 1998.

Since Aug. 1, Matt Albers has pitched 12 23innings over 12 games, giving up 19 earned runs, for a 13.50 ERA. He hasallowed 8 walks, with 11 strikeouts and 4 home runs, and has given up runs in 8 of his 12 outings.

Former Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre is twohits away from 2,000 in his career.

With Eric Bedard scheduled to start Saturday, itwill be the first time the Sox have started three straight left-handers sinceMay 18 20, 1995, when Vaughn Eshelman, Zane Smith, and Rheal Cormier started.The Sox went 1-2 in those games.

The crowd of 38,083 was the 700thconsecutive sellout at Fenway Park, dating back to May 15, 2003. The Sox had previouslyset the major league record on Sept. 8, 2008, with their 456thstraight sellout.

I actually think its really cool, maybe more cool than most people, Francona said. Ive been in places where theres been apathy and theres nothing worse than that. You come here on Sunday day game after a Saturday night game, the place is always full. I kid a lot about the hot dog races and stuff. We dont do that here. Baseballs good enough and I really like that. I think this is one of the really truly special things about being here is I hope this streak goes on for a while.

Is nice to play in front of people who care so much, of course.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Moreland homers again, Red Sox tag A's to avoid four-game sweep

Moreland homers again, Red Sox tag A's to avoid four-game sweep

OAKLAND, Calif. - A five-run ninth inning for the Red Sox that lasted more than a half-hour derailed any chance Eduardo Rodriguez had of getting his first career complete game.

Not that the left-hander was complaining.

After a bitter loss to Oakland a year ago when he allowed just one hit over eight innings, Rodriguez was more than happy with the way things turned out.

Rodriguez earned his second straight win, Mitch Moreland homered in his third consecutive game and Boston beat the Oakland Athletics 12-3 on Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.

"I wanted to go back out there but they hit the ball pretty good in that inning and I know I had to get out of the game," Rodriguez said about the long wait. "I'll take it because we score more runs, I have a chance to win. If every inning's like that, I'll get out of the game after five."

Rodriguez (3-1) allowed three runs over eight innings. He struck out eight, walked one and retired 14 of his final 15 batters.

"Where he was with the pitch count, it'd be nice for him to go out there for the ninth inning given where he was and how well he was throwing the baseball," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "But at that point you're up nine, probably about a 35-minute inning, didn't want to take any chances."

Hanley Ramirez and Christian Vazquez had three hits apiece to power a Red Sox lineup that tallied 15 hits. Every player in Boston's starting lineup had at least one hit, and eight of the nine drove in runs.

Chad Pinder homered and drove in two runs for Oakland.

Boston, which hasn't been swept in a four-game series since July 2015, trailed 3-2 before scoring 10 runs over the final five innings.

"It felt we had them on the run a little bit," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "They get the lead and then we come back and take the lead again and you feel pretty good. But they were pretty persistent today."

Pinder went deep in the fourth, his fourth home run in eight games and fifth overall.

The A's committed three errors, giving them a major league-leading 42.


Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts gave the A's trouble with his running and defense. Betts scored twice from first base and also made a pair of strong defensive plays. He made a sliding catch on Mark Canha's sinking liner in the eighth and then slammed into the wall after catching Khris' Davis fly to end the inning.

"This place during the daytime plays very difficult," Farrell said. "What Mookie was able to do a couple times in right field, those aren't easy plays. To be able to stay with it, go up against the wall a couple of times, we played very good outfield defense here today."


Red Sox: Brock Holt continues to deal with lingering symptoms from vertigo and isn't yet ready to come off the disabled list, according to Farrell. Likewise, Boston plans to keep third baseman Pablo Sandoval in the minors to get consistent at-bats while recovering from a right knee sprain. ... Farrell said LHP Drew Pomeranz, who took the loss Saturday, will start against Texas on Thursday.

Athletics: Yonder Alonso (sore left knee) sat out his fourth straight game but could be back in the lineup Tuesday when Oakland begins a two-game series against Miami. ... Sean Doolittle (strained left shoulder) threw on flat ground before making 15 pitches off the mound. The plan is for the former closer to throw 25 pitches on Wednesday. ... Melvin said the team has applied for an extension on Chris Bassitt's rehab assignment. Bassitt underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015.


Red Sox: Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello (2-5) faces Texas on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park. Porcello has lost three of his last four decisions.

Athletics: Following an off day, RHP Jesse Hahn (1-3) starts against Miami on Tuesday at the Coliseum. Hahn leads the majors in fewest home runs allowed per nine innings at 0.19.