As return engagements go, Kevin Youkilis had a pretty good one.
Returning to Fenway Park as a member of the Chicago White Sox, Youkilis enjoyed an almost perfect night. He was given a standing ovation before his first at-bat in the first inning, then added three hits -- a single and two doubles -- in four plate appearances.
All that was missing was a win, as his present team lost to his former team, 5-1.
"It was a great ovation and a cool thing from the fans,'' said Youkilis of the warm reception. "Theyve been great to me and I cant say thank you enough for the support theyve given me."
To acknowledge the standing ovation, Youkilis took off his helmet and waved to the ballpark from outside the batter's box.
"The place was pretty loud and rocking and it was cool,'' he recounted. "So I said thank you to everyone. I just wish could have ended better and wish we could have won.
Making the night even more special for Youkilis was facing Aaron Cook, whom he's known for years, having both grown up in Cincinnati. He and Cook share the same agent.
All three of Youkilis's hits come off Cook.
"It was cool to face Aaron because since I grew up with him and I faced him a lot,'' said Youkilis. "It was only fitting to have him on the mound. I know hes really mad at me, but (they) got the win, so its a good thing.
Youkilis also flashed some aggressive baserunning. After singling in the first, he took second as Adam Dunn grounded to the right side.
With the Red Sox shifted over on Dunn -- third baseman Will Middlebrooks was over near second base -- Youkilis saw an opportunity to go from second to third.
Adrian Gonzalez tried to lead a throw to Middlebrooks as the rookie scurried to get back in position to tag out Middlebrooks.
Hes got nothing on me,'' said Youkilis of his replacement. "Hes 23 years old. I think I can beat him in race. Thats unbelievable. I was joking with him, yelling at him, come on, Will. He hit that dirt and fell down,
I knew I had him. It was like going in the end zone in a football game.