Youkilis scratched with back tightness

Youkilis scratched with back tightness

CHICAGO -- Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis was scratched from Sunday afternoon's lineup against the White Sox because of lower left back tightness. The good news is that it doesn't sound like an injury that will linger.

Manager Bobby Valentine felt after Sunday's 4-1 loss to the White Sox that Youkilis could be right back in the lineup for Monday night's game at Fenway against the Athletics.

"I was just really tight today and it locked up and they decided to scratch me and use me later on in the game if they were going to use me," Youkilis said.

The elements might have played a role in the injury. The first three games of the series were played in frigid conditions.

"It's probably just three days in the freezing cold." Youkilis said. "I don't know, I felt good, I felt good all week, I just woke up and it was tight. I went and did all my usual stuff and it just tightened up. Instead of missing three days or a week, they kind of took the cautious route with it."

Valentine inserted Nick Punto at third base, and bumped Cody Ross up to the No. 6 spot in the batting order. Punto batted seventh.

Youkilis is hitting .219 with two homers and nine RBIs. He showed signs of possibly breaking out on Thursday night, when he clubbed a grand slam.

A couple of weeks ago, Youkilis was bothered by groin tightness. It was Punto's third start of the season, but first since April 16.