With Youkilis out, Iglesias is called up
Back is bothering third baseman
Third baseman Kevin Youkilis was out of the Red Sox lineup for the third consecutive game because of a strained lower back.
The Red Sox do not feel that Youkilis needs to go on the disabled list but they did put a patch on the roster on Tuesday, calling up Jose Iglesias from Triple A Pawtucket before a 5-3 loss against Oakland.
With rain coming down before the game, manager Bobby Valentine didn’t want to play the game with one less option on the bench.
“With the playing conditions and with the roster situation, didn’t think it was fair for the team to play so short in the infield,’’ he said. “So we have a backup in case we need it.’’
Righthander Junichi Tazawa was optioned to Pawtucket. He appeared in five games after being called up April 18, throwing 6 1/3 scoreless innings. He was the only reliever on the team with options remaining.
Youkilis, 33, has been on the disabled list three times since the start of the 2010 season. A back injury was among his woes last season, making this latest injury a red flag.
He was not available Tuesday but was used as a decoy in the ninth inning, grabbing a bat and standing on the top step of the dugout.
Youkilis did not speak to the media, leaving Valentine to answer questions about his condition.
“I was with him today in the training room,’’ the manager said. “There are times when it’s pretty sore, different movements. He’s doing everything he can in the training room.’’
Youkilis was scratched from the lineup Sunday when he injured his back in the batting cage. He was scratched Monday when the irritation started during infield practice. On Tuesday, he never made the lineup.
“Other opinions or any of that stuff, I’m not sure where we are on it. It seems like he has a situation that we just have to get over,’’ Valentine said.
The Red Sox optioned Lars Anderson back to Pawtucket after the game. General manager Ben Cherington did not say what the corresponding move was. But now the Sox have a spot open for righthander Aaron Cook, who is 3-0 with a 1.89 earned run average in five starts for Pawtucket.
On Tuesday, Cook had the right to opt out of his contract if the Red Sox did not promote him to the major leagues. The Sox then had 48 hours to promote him, release him, or make other arrangements.
Talking it over
Clay Buchholz has an 8.69 ERA and a 1.90 WHIP through five starts. His latest uneven performance, which came against Oakland Monday, led to a meeting with Valentine before the game on Tuesday.
“There’s no doubt he has plenty of room for improvement,’’ Valentine said. “I’m not sure he’s totally comfortable with all his pitches.
“He’s had games where he’s really liked his two-seamer; really liked his curveball; really liked his changeup at different times. But they haven’t been a total package the entire time.’’
Valentine said Buchholz was the most relaxed he has seen him all season during their meeting.
“I think that’s a good sign,’’ the manager said.
According to Valentine, the Red Sox feel Buchholz is throwing the ball better than his statistics would indicate.
“They should correlate because they’re pretty good pitches,’’ he said. “Not a lot of other arms in the league are featuring the pitches that he’s featuring.’’
Buchholz allowed six runs on seven hits and five walks against Oakland Monday, improving to 3-1 despite giving up five runs in the seventh inning.
“He really liked the way the ball was coming out of the hand,’’ Valentine said. “So did [pitching coach] Bob McClure and so did I the majority of the time [Monday] night. The idea that he can improve is absolutely paramount in all our minds.’’
The April 22 game against the Yankees that was rained out was rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader July 7 at 12:35 p.m.
The makeup game will be the first game in the doubleheader with the second game at 7:15. Fans holding tickets for the April 22 game may use those tickets for the 12:35 game.
Lefthanded reliever Andrew Miller is nearing the end of the minor league rehabilitation assignment, leaving the Red Sox with another roster decision to make.
Monday will mark the 30th and final day of Miller’s assignment. He is on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, an injury that has long since healed. But Miller has remained with Pawtucket, the Sox hoping he will gain some measure of consistency.
Miller has appeared in 11 games, allowing seven runs on six hits, 13 walks, two hit batters, and a wild pitch over 12 innings. He has 25 strikeouts.
Remy out again
NESN analyst Jerry Remy missed his fourth consecutive game with a sinus infection. Peter Gammons filled in for him . . . The Red Sox went into Tuesday’s game leading the majors with 127 runs. They were tied with the Twins for most runs allowed at 124 . . . Friday’s game against Baltimore will be on WRKO radio, as WEEI will have the Celtics playoff game . . . The Red Sox and Athletics will wear throwback uniforms from 1936 Wednesday to commemorate the year the Philadelphia Athletics sold Jimmie Foxx to the Red Sox. Foxx’s daughter, Nanci Foxx Canaday, will be in attendance . . . The Sox bullpen has allowed two earned runs in its last 24 1/3 innings.