FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Thanks to injuries last season, Kevin Youkilis (thumb) hadn't been in a game since last Aug. 2 and Dustin Pedroia (broken foot) played just twice after last June 25.
Saturday, both were back in action, and even though the opponent was Boston College, were happy to be in a competitive situation again.
"It's just nice to see both of them on the field,'' said Terry Francona, "running around and looking healthy.''
Youkilis made an immediate impact in the Sox' 6-0 win, making a diving, backhand stop on the second hitter of the game, then adding a three-run, opposite-field homer in the bottom of the inning.
"I think just making it through the game and feeling good (was my goal),'' said Youkils. "Probably the worst thing was I think I peaked too early. But it was good to get back out there.''
Youkilis is returning to third base after spending most of the last five seasons playing first and it didn't take long for him to get tested.
"I'd rather have those than the ones that are right at you,'' said Youkilis, "where you have more time and they can eat you up. But it was great to make a play like that and get it out of the way. But there are going to be more plays down the road and balls I'm going to boot around. That's part of being a third baseman.''
Pedroia was 0-for-1 with a walk and a run scored.
In the second, the second baseman hit a grounder over the mound that shortstop Anthony Melchionda snared, running toward second, then fired to first to nab Pedroia at first.
"It felt good,'' said Pedroia of his foot. "I haven't done that in a long time. It felt fine. We'll see how it feels (Sunday).''