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.