Youkilis returns to Red Sox lineup, Ortiz leaves

Kevin Youkilis has returned to the lineup of the slumping Boston
Red Sox, hoping he can help them gain a playoff spot in the final
two weeks.

The third baseman had missed three games with bursitis in his
left hip and a sports hernia. He had been on the disabled list from
Aug. 18 to Sept. 2 with a back injury. Youkilis said the three
injuries are related to each other.

But just as Youkilis returned, another big bat was knocked out
of the Boston lineup.

Designated hitter David Ortiz left Tuesday night’s game against
Toronto with back spasms before he even had a chance to hit.

Ortiz, batting .313 with 29 homers and 92 RBIs, was in the
starting lineup card that was exchanged at home plate before the
game and was due to bat cleanup. But as Adrian Gonzalez was hitting
in the first inning it was Jed Lowrie, not Ortiz, waiting on
deck.

Lowrie struck out on three pitches for the second out in a
two-run inning. One inning later, it was revealed that Ortiz came
out due to back spasms.

Because the lineup cards had been exchanged, Ortiz was
officially in and then out of the game, making him unavailable for
the rest of the night.

Boston also summoned pitchers Trever Miller and Junichi Tazawa,
speedy outfielder Joey Gathright, shortstop Jose Iglesias and first
baseman Lars Anderson from the minors. Outfielder J.D. Drew was
transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL and
outfielder Nate Spears was designated for assignment.

After a 1-6 road trip, the Red Sox began the day with a
three-game lead over Tampa Bay for the AL wild-card spot.

”I’m not concerned. We’re still ahead and it’s in our
control,” Youkilis said.

Youkilis said he’d received an injection to help him deal with
the hip and that he will have surgery to repair the hernia after
the season.

”The bottom line for me is just going out and playing through
it,” he said. ”There are a lot of guys banged up … I’ll just go
day to day and play it as I can tolerate it.”

Manager Terry Francona disclosed that reliever Bobby Jenks, out
with a back injury that has him on the disabled list for the third
time this season, has a small pulmonary embolism that was detected
during the testing on his back. Francona said Jenks is taking
medication to treat the problem.

Francona said the embolism was discovered a while ago.

”He’s doing great, but that’s what happened,” he said.

Francona also said ace Josh Beckett, sidelined by a sprained
right ankle, has progressed to the point where he figures to start
either Thursday or Friday.

Clay Buchholz, who hasn’t pitched since June 16 because of a
back injury, is playing catch and hopes to throw a bullpen session
later this week. Buchholz still hopes to pitch this season.