Keeping it clean: Youkilis riding hot streak

Keeping it clean: Youkilis riding hot streak

PHILADELPHIA -- At a time when the Red Sox are starting to click as a team, cleanup hitter Kevin Youkilis has seemingly been in the middle of every rally. There Youkilis was again in Sunday's 8-3 victory over the Phillies, going 2-for-4 with a triple and a homer and driving in three runs.

In May, he is hitting .397 with six homers and 15 RBIs.

"He's swinging the bat great," said second baseman Dustin Pedroia. "He's putting together some long at-bats and everything he hits is on the barrel. He's swinging the bat great. He always does. He finds himself in a hitters count all the time because he's such a patient hitter. Hopefully he keeps it up."

Youkilis, per usual, was pretty low-key about the streak he's on.

"I just try to work on things and try to better myself each day," Youkilis said. "Some days it works out, and some days it doesn't. That's the game of baseball. That's one of the keys to it, is you can be awful one day and then next day you can be great. You can't go on the roller-coaster ride. You've got to keep it even-keel and keep learning from your mistakes and try to add onto all the positives."

As hot as Youkilis is, that's how cold Pedroia is at the moment. Boston's No. 2 hitter went 0-for-4 on Sunday and his hitless in his past 19 at-bats.

"I just think that every player goes through periods where you're up and down a little bit," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "The good side is that when he doesn't get hits, he probably plays better defense. That's just the type of player he is. Even when he's not getting hits, we feel real comfortable playing him, because you know you're going to get every ounce of energy and he's going to play the game. Just as cold as he is, he'll get just as hot."

Pedroia didn't sound too worried.

"I hit some balls hard yesterday," Pedroia said. "I'm a foot away from having three hits and had none. That stuff happens. You go through spurts like that, but hopefully I'll find a couple of holes [Monday]."