Shaughnessy: Not sure Sox will trade Youk

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Shaughnessy: Not sure Sox will trade Youk

The Red Sox have a young third baseman who's been hot since the day he came up to the Majors. So why do they need to hold on to Kevin Youkilis.

Not so fast says Dan Shaughnessy.

It's likely the Red Sox could get some decent pitching prospects for an established, versatile player like Youkilis. Some of those prospects could eventually pay big dividends for the Red Sox, making a trade an appealing option. But what does it say about the 2012 Red Sox if they choose to go that route? If the Sox trade Youkilis, it would appear to send the message that they're "sellers" and are giving up on this season.

At only 3 games back, that's a difficult message to send to a fan base that saw its team collapse last season amid clubhouse turmoil, and then clean house, kicking out a beloved manager and allowing the general manager who ended "The Curse" to leave for the Cubs.

"It has a look of giving up on this year," says Shaughnessy. "I don't think they're prepared to do that and it's hard to sell it as anything but that."

It's important to keep in mind that Middlebrooks is still a rookie and most rookies hit a wall at some point. If he hits that wall in September, with the Red Sox in a tight race for a playoff spot, the loss of Youkilis' bat would loom large and look like a terrible decision. Ditto for a tight playoff race in which every run is tough to come by. An established veteran like Youkilis not only makes the lineup more imposing, but he adds invaluable experience.

So do the Sox look long term and trade Youkilis, hoping that Middlebrooks can play at a level beyond his "rookie" label, and in the process secure a valuable prospect or two? Or do they hold tight to Youk with an eye on the playoffs? We'll find out sooner rather than later.

Porcello loses 10th game as Red Sox fall to Twins, 4-1

Porcello loses 10th game as Red Sox fall to Twins, 4-1

BOSTON -- Twins rookie lefty Adalberto Mejia is feeling more comfortable each time he takes the mound.

Mejia pitched 5 2/3 innings in his second straight scoreless start, Max Kepler hit a two-run homer and Minnesota rebounded from two consecutive losses against Boston to beat the Red Sox 4-1 on Wednesday night.

"He did a nice job," Twins manager Paul Molitor said about Mejia. "He had to kind of battle. It's kind of becoming a little bit of his MO to burn through pitches, but similarly to his last start, he kept walking off the field with zeros."

Kepler also had an RBI single, and Miguel Sano added an RBI double to help the Twins improve to 24-11 on the road.

Mejia (3-3) allowed five hits, struck out three and walked one in his 11th career start. On Friday night at Cleveland, he held the Indians to two hits over five innings in a victory.

"I feel calmer every time I'm out there," he said through a translator. "I think that's why I did better."

Brandon Kintzler got the final three outs for his 21st save.

Boston starter Rick Porcello (4-10) gave up four runs on six hits in six innings, striking out six and walking two. It was his 14th straight start going at least six innings, the AL's longest active streak.

"It's not like they're beating the cover off the ball," Porcello said. "It's just a couple things here and there that I've got to clean up. I'm not making excuses for myself. I definitely hold myself accountable for the loss tonight."

Red Sox manager John Farrell was back in the dugout after serving a one-game suspension Tuesday for poking umpire Bill Miller in the chest during an argument Saturday.

The Red Sox stranded 11 baserunners, and at least one in every inning. Farrell thought his team may have been pressing a bit.

"I thought there were times we might have expanded the strike zone a little bit, trying to make something happen," he said.

With Minnesota leading 2-0 in the sixth, Kepler lined his homer off the back of Boston's bullpen.

In the first, the Twins scored a pair of two-out runs when Sano hit his RBI double down the third-base line and scored on Kepler's broken-bat single.

Xander Bogaerts drove in Boston's run with a bases-loaded grounder in the seventh.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Twins: LHP Glen Perkins resumed throwing Tuesday after a setback last week following offseason shoulder surgery. Molitor said the club is still formulating a plan for him. He's been sidelined all season and pitched in just two games last year.

Red Sox: DH Hanley Ramirez missed his third straight game after getting hit by a pitch on the left knee Sunday. "He'll go through a full workday today," Farrell said. "He's feeling improved."

MATCHES OWN RECORD

Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia played his 98th consecutive error-less game, matching the best mark in club history he set for a second baseman from 2009-10.

LOOKS FAMILIAR

This season has started like 2015 for Porcello, the AL's reigning Cy Young Award winner.

Two years ago when he struggled badly, the righty lost nine of his initial 13 decisions and finished 9-15 with a 4.92 ERA.

ROSTER MOVE

Minnesota right-hander Phil Hughes was activated from the 10-day disabled list and LHP Craig Breslow was put on with rib cage soreness.

Hughes had been on the DL since complaining of a "dead feeling" in his pitching shoulder on May 21. He allowed one run in three innings during three rehabilitation appearances in Triple-A.

Molitor plans to use him out of the bullpen.

UP NEXT

Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (4-5, 6.23 ERA) looks to continue his success in Fenway Park in the series finale Thursday. He's allowed only one run over 15 innings in two career starts.

Red Sox: LHP David Price (2-2, 4.76) has won his last five decisions against Minnesota, posting a 1.84 ERA.