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Youkilis OK; Sox not so much

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  July 7, 2010 12:23 AM

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cc92ec7e5921ea0bcf0e6a7067008846.jpgKevin Youkilis seems to be OK and said he plans to play tomorrow. He jammed his ankle while playing in the field in the bottom of the third inning and when he came to the plate in the fourth inning felt it "lock up" on him.

It felt like I had a cramp in my ankle, Youkilis said. Its the most strange thing ever."

X-rays were negative and Youk was moving around fine after the game.

Poor Niuman Romero (that's him in the photo, by the way). The Rays walked David Ortiz intentionally three times to get to the rookie from Venezuela, each time with two outs and a runner on.

Romero flied to left in the fifth inning, grounded to first in the seventh and ended the game with a groundout to second. That left him 2 for 18 in his career.

When Ortiz was walked in the ninth, Terry Francona used Mike Cameron to run for Ortiz and let Romero hit.

Asked why he did not use Cameron as a pinch hitter, Francona explained that he was out of players and did not want to give up his DH by putting Ortiz at first base.

No, I didnt think of doing [using Cameron as a pinch hitter]. Is that a good enough answer? said Francona, who became a little heated when he was asked the question a second time. I thought what we did put us in the best position. In my opinion that gave us the best chance to win.

In theory, Francona could have pinch hit Cameron and put him in center field. Eric Patterson then moves to second and Bill Hall to first. Hall has never played first, however. Still, Cameron gives you a better chance to tie the game and if Hall has to play first, so be it. At least the game is still going on.

Or hit Cameron, lose the DH by putting Ortiz at first and try to win before the pitcher comes up. If the pitcher comes up, let Jon Lester or John Lackey hit.

Cameron hasn't hit righthanders well this season but he still had more hope of coming through than did Romero.

It's a good baseball debate. Francona said the plan was for Cameron to steal second and hope for Romero to get a two-run single.

Hideki Okajima, meanwhile, has a 6.00 ERA and has allowed 38 hits (five of them home runs) and 13 walks over 34 innings. He was pitching after a six-day break tonight.

That's three losses in a row for the Sox and four in the last five. The cavalry is coming but it seems like a long way off when they lose games like this.

Ive been playing this game for so long. I have never seen anything like this, Ortiz said. We go through injuries every year but what Im seeing right now is just like a curse.

"Man, it doesnt even sound right. You have nine guys on the DL, guys that are every day pretty much players. When is the last time you heard about something like that? We better not talk about it. The more we talk about it, the more people get injured. Just leave it alone and act like its normal.

Ortiz hit Rob Bradford of WEEI.com with a shot of his cologne. I got one, too. So at least I smell nice.

Better than can be said of that game.

Thanks for reading all day. Check back tomorrow.

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