Sox Shuffle Lineup As Youkilis Returns 2009: 081809 808

Sox shuffle lineup as Youkilis returns

08/18/09 8:08 PM ET First baseman Kevin Youkilis was back playing first base for the Sox after serving a five-game suspension stemming from an
incident in Detroit last week. Jason Varitek was originally in the lineup, but he had to be pulled because of neck spasms. Meanwhile, second baseman Dustin Pedroia went back to Boston before Tuesday’s tilt to be with his wife, Kelli, for the birth of their first child. “I told him his first responsibility is Kelli and that child,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said, adding that the second baseman got on a 1 p.m. ET flight to Boston and went straight to the hospital upon his arrival. “We don’t know when he’s going to come back, and he can take his time, because having your first child, that’s a great thing in life, and we’re excited for him,” Youkilis said. Pedroia arrived in time to witness the birth of seven-pound baby Dylan, and the family is doing well, according to a team official. Pedroia, the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 2008, was voted the starting second baseman for this year’s All-Star Game, but missed the event when Kelli went into labor early and was hospitalized.
“I think it’s a great thing after all she’s been through and Dustin’s been through, mentally,” Youkilis said. “I think it’s going to be a great thing for Dustin. We always joke about dad strength, so hopefully he comes back and keeps hitting home runs. It’ll be a great thing for him.”

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