Ellsbury a late scratch with illness

July, 1, 2011
HOUSTON -- One back in, one out.

That was the Red Sox's lineup situation prior to Friday night’s game in Houston.

Third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who had missed Thursday’s game in Philadelphia because of a bone bruise on his left ankle, returned to the starting lineup. Youkilis, who had fouled a ball off his ankle in Wednesday night’s game against the Phillies, was back in his customary cleanup spot in the order.

Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, though, was a late scratch because he was sick. Ellsbury was in the original lineup, but pulled out a little more than two hours before the first pitch.

Ellsbury’s absence forced manager Terry Francona to make a few switches. He moved shortstop Marco Scutaro from the number eight spot and boosted him up to leadoff in the batting order. Then he bypassed outfielder Darnell McDonald and put utility infielder Drew Sutton in left field, batting eighth.

With Mike Cameron gone (designated for assignment on Thursday), Francona opted not to start McDonald, a right-handed hitter batting an embarrassing .115 (mostly against left-handed pitchers) against Houston right-hander Bud Norris.

Instead, it will be Sutton, who will be making his fifth career start in the outfield, and first since Sept. 5, 2009, when he played for Cincinnati against Atlanta. That day, ironically, Sutton was replaced later in the game by Darnell McDonald.

“I’m as comfortable out there as anywhere else,” said Sutton, who shags fly balls in the outfield in addition to taking ground balls in the infield during batting practice.

“Hopefully I can do like (first baseman) Adrian (Gonzalez, who played a game in right field this week against the Phillies) and keep everything in front of me and not turn anything hit to me into a double,” said Sutton.

Youkilis, meanwhile, will be playing through the pain.

“The doctor said I couldn’t hurt it anymore,” said Youkilis, who had an MRI in Philly. “I have a guard I will wear but other than that there’s nothing much I can do. Just take better swings and don’t foul another ball off my foot.”

Here's the lineup:

1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
5. J.D. Drew, RF
6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
7. Josh Reddick, CF
8. Drew Sutton, LF
9. Tim Wakefield, RHP



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