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Rays exploit depleted Red Sox

After Youkilis joins ranks of walking wounded, Francona left with no good options

Updated: July 7, 2010, 8:27 AM ET
By Gordon Edes | ESPNBoston.com

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- In the course of a five-minute conversation, Kevin Youkilis called it (1) "the most strange thing ever,'' (2) "very odd" and (3) "very strange.''

The Red Sox first baseman was talking about the ankle "cramp" that caused him to abruptly leave Tuesday night's game before batting in the fourth inning. But he could have been taking a broader view of this Red Sox injury epidemic that has advanced beyond the "absurd" stage and is rapidly approaching "Biblical plague" ...

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