BOSTON -- Marco Scutaro found out less than a half-hour before Tuesday night's first pitch that he was being inserted into the starting lineup after Kevin Youkilis couldn't shake an illness.
Jed Lowrie moved from short to third, opening up shortstop for Scutaro. And the veteran responded with a two-hit game which included his first home run of the season. The Red Sox went on to a 7-3 win over the Angels.
"It definitely feels good, especially the way I've been swinging the bat," said Scutaro, who is hitting .197.
After opening the season as Boston's starting shortstop, Scutaro was simply outplayed by Lowrie, and the veteran has tried to keep his swing sharp in a reserve role.
"You don't even enjoy the BP throwers when you're struggling," said Scutaro. "Hitting's so hard, man. It's just weird. It's a weird thing. It's a difficult thing, too."
As for Youkilis, he caught a bug that has been moving around the team the last few days.
"He was really sick," said manager Terry Francona. "We've got it going around. David [Ortiz] had it last night. We came real close last night to taking David out. I'm glad he was OK. Youk was lightheaded before the game and struggling. He wanted to try it and then it wasn't going to happen."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.