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Red Sox notebook

Youkilis takes a turn at DH

Ortiz gets break vs. lefty Price

Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro leans on the Rays’ Sam Fuld in the third inning with a tag, but Fuld has second base stolen. Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro leans on the Rays’ Sam Fuld in the third inning with a tag, but Fuld has second base stolen. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)
By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / April 13, 2011

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When Red Sox manager Terry Francona posted his lineup for last night’s game against the Rays, Kevin Youkilis was the designated hitter.

“I don’t think I’ve ever DHed,’’ said Youkilis, who hit out of the cleanup spot.

Francona gave David Ortiz the night off (although he pinch hit in the ninth) and went with Youkilis at DH to load the lineup with righthanded bats against lefthander David Price, against whom Ortiz is 2 for 12 for his career.

Jed Lowrie played third base for Youkilis and hit out of the No. 5 spot, going 2 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI off Price. Darnell McDonald, who started for J.D. Drew in right field, gave the Sox a 1-0 lead in the third when he homered off Price.

“This isn’t something where he’s going to be our DH,’’ Francona said of Youkilis. “But on a night like tonight, we’d like to use it to his advantage. He can swing the whole game as much as he wants. It might be good for him.’’

Youkilis went 1 for 3 with a strikeout in Boston’s 3-2 loss.

Youkilis, who began the game leading the majors with 13 walks, including eight in his last four games, also entered with a .419 on-base percentage but a .167 average.

“I think I’ve had three or four days of good at-bats,’’ said Youkilis, who snapped an 0-for-17 drought in Sunday night’s 4-0 win over the Yankees.

“But it’s just been a wild year of not getting hits and not getting much to hit. I don’t know how many walks I have, but I haven’t had many opportunities. Other than not getting hits, or hitting balls at people, I’m still getting on base. It’s just weird.’’

Awards night In a pregame ceremony, Carl Crawford was presented with the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards he won for the 2010 season.

Crawford earned both accolades for the first time in his final season with the Rays, setting career highs with 19 home runs, 90 RBIs, and 110 runs, a .495 slugging percentage, and an .851 OPS.

“I’m glad we’re in town to see it, because he did it as a Ray and that’s pretty significant,’’ said Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon.

“It’s something that I challenged all our players on an annual basis to win a Gold Glove. I think that’s still one of the coolest awards a baseball player can get is to earn a Gold Glove. So he’s got both in the same year. That’s kind of neat.

“I’m really happy for him. Even though he’s going to accept it in a different uniform, I’ll remember it for what he did for us last year.’’

Blessed event If Jarrod Saltalamacchia looked a little bleary-eyed yesterday, it was understandable. After Monday night’s game, the catcher rushed to the hospital to be with his wife Ashley for the birth yesterday morning at 2 of the couple’s third child, a daughter. She weighed in at 8 pounds 4 ounces and measured 20 inches long, certainly big enough to carry her last name. “Yeah, she’s big, but she’s beautiful,’’ said Saltalamacchia, who said he and his wife had yet to come up with a name. “We’ve got two more days to figure it out, so we’re taking hints,’’ he said. “I think Thursday’s when we’re allowed to go home, so we’ve got to have a name before we go home.’’ Francona gave Saltalamacchia a planned night off . . . Ortiz said he was unaware that his triple in Monday night’s 16-5 loss to the Rays made him the only player in the American League to have tripled at least once in each of the last 12 seasons. However, he’s had only one in nine of those seasons, including the last five in a row. Asked if he had reached his quota for the season, Ortiz bellowed, “Oh, no! Whenever I get the chance, I’m going to go for it.’’

Barrier unbroken Francona said he did not talk with Daisuke Matsuzaka following the righthander’s terrible outing Monday night, in which he allowed eight runs on seven hits, including six in a six-run second inning. The manager pointed out that the day after he pitches usually is a big workday for Matsuzaka. “The hard thing for me is I can’t have a casual conversation with Dice,’’ Francona said, referring to the language barrier. “It’s easy to have them with anybody. [John] Lackey walks in the clubhouse or [Jon] Lester or whoever, but you can’t do that with Dice, besides saying hello, and that’s frustrating. It’s hard to have that casual conversation and say, ‘Hey, what are you thinking?’ because everything has to go through the translator.’’ . . . Lowrie made his first career start hitting in the fifth spot. He has reached in seven of his last 10 plate appearances over his last three games. “I’m really happy with the way I’m working right now, my approach,’’ Lowrie said. “I’ve always believed that if I keep that approach, the results will always be there.’’ . . . General manager Theo Epstein, chief operating officer Sam Kennedy, reliever Daniel Bard, and Players Association director Michael Weiner are among those scheduled to appear on the “Business of Baseball’’ panel hosted by Peter Gammons tomorrow at the State Room in Boston. The event is a fund-raiser for Epstein’s Foundation To Be Named Later. Tickets are available at FoundationToBeNamedLater.org.

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