Youkilis in Red Sox lineup but still sore
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Kevin Youkilis was in the Boston lineup one day after hurting his right ankle and went hitless in five at-bats in Wednesday's 6-4 loss to Tampa Bay.
Youkilis lined out to deep center with the tying runs on base to end the game against Matt Garza, the Rays starter pressed into closer duty.
It was the first time all season Youkilis has gone 0-for-5. He went 0-for-5 just once last season, and since the start of the 2007 season, has done so only six times.
But beyond his struggles at the plate, Youkilis, whose absence proved costly when he departed with what was called a right ankle cramp in Tuesday's 3-2 loss, appeared to still have issues Wednesday. At one point, TV cameras panning the Sox dugout showed Youkilis with his shoe and sock off, prior to getting his ankle rewrapped, and manager Terry Francona acknowledged there was still some discomfort.
In the eighth inning, Youkilis was limping as he returned to the dugout after flying out.
"I asked him, and he just said he was getting sore," Francona said. "He was all right."
Youkilis said it felt like he had a cramp in the ankle while playing defense Tuesday. X-rays taken Tuesday were negative.
The banged-up Red Sox have 11 players on the disabled list, including pitchers Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett, catchers Jason Varitek and Victor Martinez, infielders Dustin Pedroia and Mike Lowell and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
In a move to provide depth at first base, the Red Sox purchased the contract of infielder Ryan Shealy from Triple-A Pawtucket.
Niuman Romero, who replaced Youkilis on Tuesday and failed to get a hit in three at-bats with two runners on base each time was designated for assignment. The hitter before Romero, designated hitter David Ortiz, was intentionally walked three times.
Material from Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com and the Associated Press was used in this report.
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