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Sleep-deprived Kotsay debuts with Sox

Sleep-deprived Kotsay debuts with Sox

NEW YORK -- After a thoroughly chaotic Wednesday, in which Mark Kotsay was not only traded from the Braves to the Red Sox but also flew from Atlanta to New York to arrive at Yankee Stadium just before game time, you can be sure the veteran outfielder was tired enough to get plenty of sleep in anticipation for his first start with the team on Thursday afternoon.

Or not.

In the city that never sleeps, how much shut-eye did an adrenaline-filled Kotsay actually get?

"Zero," Kotsay said. "None actually. Off and on."

But his excitement about leaping from non-contender to the heat of the playoff race -- not to mention what was likely to be the last game the Red Sox would play at Yankee Stadium -- was enough for Kotsay to be relishing the moment, sleep deprived or otherwise.

"Hopefully, I can just kind of fit in and help this club get to the playoffs," said Kotsay.

The left-handed hitter batted sixth in manager Terry Francona's lineup and played right field, hitting a double in four at-bats on Thursday.

Francona indicated that Kotsay's primary position with the Red Sox, particularly while J.D. Drew is on the disabled list, will be right. Speedsters Jacoby Ellsbury and Coco Crisp will continue to man center field.

"I kind of told him, 'You've been playing this game a long time. If you have any questions, ask me. When we get back to Boston, we'll sit down,'" said Francona. "I know he's hit in the top of the order a lot. Today, he's hitting in the sixth hole [and] gives us some balance. He's a professional hitter."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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