Red Sox notes: Youk returns to lineup

Red Sox notes: Youk returns to lineup
September 3, 2011, 12:01 am
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By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com 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