Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Baseball [Print without images]

Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Kevin Youkilis out of lineup

By Joe McDonald
ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis was out of the lineup Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays with swelling and tightness in his left trapezius muscle after he was hit in the back by a pitch in the fourth inning on Monday.

He was out for precautionary reasons and is expected to return to the lineup on Wednesday. As a result of his absence, Dustin Pedroia hit in the cleanup spot for the Red Sox. He went 1-for-4 with a solo home run as the Red Sox edged the Blue Jays, 3-2.

Youkilis left Monday's game with headaches after he was drilled just below his neck on his left side by Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow.

"It's not a serious headache, it's more of a muscle type thing," Youkilis said. "It's basically swelling and tightness. The trainers have said I'll be good to go. It's just a bad area I got hit. I've just got to wait for it to heal, but I'm pretty quick at healing, so I'll be good to go (Wednesday)."

Red Sox manger Terry Francona spoke with Youkilis and the training staff and the decision was made to give the third baseman the night off, even though Youkilis said if it was "Game 7 of the World Series I would be in there."

"A little stiff today," said Francona. "He and the medical team feel like if we give him another day he'll be able to go tomorrow, which is good news. Considering where the ball was thrown, and what could have happened, we'll try to stay away from him today."

Francona compared Youkilis to a football player with the way he looks after a game because of his playing style, but the bumps and bruises are a natural part of the game, especially at this time of the summer.

"It's part of the season," Youkilis said. "Things happen and you've got to grind it out. You've got to try to get as healthy as you can and fortunately the All-Star break is coming soon and those four days will help."

"When you play the game every day you're not going to feel 100 percent. It's part of the gig," he said.

Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.