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Bellhorn on DL, Youkilis recalled

The Red Sox today placed second baseman Mark Bellhorn on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb and recalled infielder Kevin Youkilis from Triple-A Pawtucket.

The 30-year-old Bellhorn, who sustained the thumb injury while diving for a Jason Giambi ground ball in the fourth inning of last night’s game against the Yankees, was hitting .216 with 20 doubles, seven home runs, 28 RBI and 41 runs scored in 85 games for the Red Sox this season. Bellhorn currently leads the majors with 109 strikeouts.

Youkilis, who was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket July 10, joins the Red Sox for the third time this season. The 26-year-old infielder was hitting .286 with six doubles, one home run, nine RBI and 10 runs scored in 26 games for the Red Sox this season, appearing in 18 games at third base, five games at first base and one game at second base. Youkilis was batting .305 with six doubles, one triple, one home run, eight RBI and seven runs in 16 games for the PawSox.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona, in a meeting with media at Fenway Park this afternoon, spoke regarding the infield situation. “We're gonna use Alex Cora tonight” said Francona. “I have spoken to Billy Mueller about using him in, I don't want to say emergency situation, probably a stop-gap is better.” Francona also said that “Kevin Youkilis took some ground balls there (at second) when he was here. He played one or two innings.”

Regarding his statement last night about deciding not to use third baseman Mueller at second base, Francona said “I misspoke a little bit. I really wanted to see Alex (Cora) hit. He's had good years. He's had a tough time here a little bit. This is kind of a long term thing. We got Alex. I really wanted to see him hit.”

On the option of using Pawtucket infielder Dustin Pedroia in Boston while Bellhorn is recovering from his injury, Francona said “Dustin got hit pretty hard on his wrist. He's not 100%."

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