3B Kevin Youkilis broke a season-opening 0-for-12 funk with an opposite-field double in the second inning Tuesday night against Blue Jays starter Kyle Drabek. However, he also grounded into a double play to end a sixth-inning rally. “I didn’t get a hit when I needed it,” Youkilis said. “That’s where you need them.” Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan attributed Youkilis’ early struggles to his work in reverting to mechanics he used in 2008.
RF Ryan Sweeney has taken advantage of the benefits of playing in the talented Red Sox’s lineup, particularly watching his fellow left-handed hitters. “It helps me a lot being able to watch Adrian (Gonzalez) and David (Ortiz), just the way they go about it and approach certain pitchers,” Sweeney said. “The thing I notice with those guys is that when they get their pitch and they’re looking for it, they don’t miss it. hopefully I can develop into one of those players. not saying (teams) want to face me, but I’m sure they want to face me more than facing a guy like that.” Sweeney has been anything but an easy out. He has hit safely in all five games, going 8-for-18 (.444) with a game-tying triple on Opening Day and a go-ahead single in Monday night’s victory over the Blue Jays.
2B Dustin Pedroia appeared to be favoring his right shoulder after Tuesday night’s game, having jammed it while diving headfirst into first base to beat out an infield hit in the eighth inning. Pedroia said he would be fine and expected to play in Wednesday’s series finale against the Blue Jays.
LHP Rich Hill, recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery, yielded one run on two hits in one inning of his second rehab appearance Tuesday night for Class a Greenville. He also recorded two strikeouts, giving him five in two games.
RHP Daniel Bard’s first major league start Tuesday was better than his final line: five-plus innings, eight hits, five earned runs. Indeed, there were times Tuesday night when Bard made things look easy. He needed only nine pitches to breeze through the second inning and nine more to sail through the fourth. He struck out Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista twice, the last time on a nasty 80 mph slider. at one point, he retired nine of 11 batters, including seven in a row.
LHP Andrew Miller, after throwing a scoreless inning Monday in his second appearance for Class a Greenville, is slated to pitch on back-to-back days this week for Class AAA Pawtucket in Rochester, N.Y. Those appearances likely will be the final step in his recovery from a strained hamstring.
SS Mike Aviles suffered a mildly sprained left ankle Monday night when he tried to beat out an infield hit. thus, Aviles was held out of the lineup Tuesday night, replaced by INF Nick Punto.