NEW YORK – Kevin Youkilis’s left lower back was described as “sore and tender” by manager Terry Francona today. Youkilis was out of the lineup, replaced by Jeff Bailey.
The injury stems from the two times Youkilis has been hit in the side with a pitch. He felt the area (lower back/ribs) on a swing in last night’s game and then when he dove for a ball. The injury is not considered serious.
Francona said he flip-flopped Mike Lowell and J.D. Drew in the order because Yankees starter Joba Chamberlain has an effective cutter against lefthanders, who are hitting .209 against him, while righthanders are hitting .325. Chamberlain made an effective start April 29 in Detroit, going seven innings and allowing three hits and one run. We’ll see how he responds with the news his mother was arrested for drug possession yesterday.
Nick Green got the nod at shortstop again. Lugo will sit for the second straight night just to get his bearings and work out with strength coach Dave Page on getting stronger after knee surgery March 17.
Francona was very complimenatry of Ramon Ramirez even though he allowed Mark Teixeira a home run, the first run the reliever had allowed in 16 innings of work. Ramirez was working on his fourth straight day. ‘He’s been a blessing for the bullpen,” said Francona. The manager admitted he brought Ramirez into that situation in relief of Jon Lester because “I wanted Teixeria to bat lefthanded. Great move on my part.” Teixeria had hit a righthanded homer against Lester in his previous at-bat.
Mark Kotsay took treatment at Fenway yesterday for a sore calf. Rocco Baldelli was DHing in Pawtucket tonight.