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Kapler leaves team for surgery -- but he'll be back

News and notes heading into tonight’s Red Sox-A’s contest at Fenway Park.

  • Injured outfielder Gabe Kapler said his goodbyes to teammates this afternoon. He is heading to Los Angeles for surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles’ tendon on Tuesday. He met briefly with Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who invited him to be a part of the team when he returns from surgery, just to be around the clubhouse. Kapler, who is very popular among his teammates, agreed to return.

  • Kevin Youkilis is in tonight’s starting lineup at first base (Kevin Millar is in right field, replacing Trot Nixon). Francona said he decided to start Youkilis because he thought he’d have success against Joe Kennedy, who will start for the A’s tonight.

    “Joe Kennedy has some funk in his delivery, Youkilis might present some problems for him,” Francona said.

  • Francona also said that reliever Keith Foulke worked on his mechanics with pitching coach Dave Wallace after the game last night, and that everyone was encouraged by the session.

  • Outfielder Johnny Damon, who is nursing a shoulder injury, is back in the lineup tonight, batting leadoff and playing center field. Francona said his outfielder approached him last night and told him to put him in the lineup tonight. Damon said his left shoulder is feeling stronger today than it did yesterday.

  • Tonight’s Red Sox starting lineup:

    1. Johnny Damon, CF
    2. Edgar Renteria, SS
    3. David Ortiz, DH
    4. Manny Ramirez, LF
    5. Kevin Millar, RF
    6. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
    7. Doug Mirabelli, C
    8. Bill Mueller, 3B
    9. Tony Graffanino, 2B
    Tim Wakefield pitching

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