Lillibridge given first opportunity with Red Sox

Lillibridge given first opportunity with Red Sox

Lillibridge given first opportunity with Red Sox
BOSTON -- Brent Lillibridge made his first start as a member of the Red Sox on Tuesday, playing center field and batting ninth against the Blue Jays.

Acquired on Sunday in the trade that sent Kevin Youkilis to the White Sox, Lillibridge became the 13th different player to start in Boston's outfield this year.

"I'm excited -- I'm going to be out there and show guys what I can do and hopefully help us win tonight," Lillibridge said. "Get it out of the way, right? Better now than late. I'm nervous, but I get my chance today."

Lillibridge entered the game with a good track record against Blue Jays starter Aaron Laffey, going 3-for-4 with an RBI in his career vs. the left-hander, though it's a small sample size.

"Try to see how he fits in as part of the team, let his teammates see him play. He's actually had some success against this guy in the past," said manager Bobby Valentine. "Maybe we will find a little something."

The utility man split time at third base, first base, left field and center field in 49 games with Chicago this season. The Red Sox already have a versatile infielder in Nick Punto, though the club would like Lillibridge to play both the infield and outfield.

"If he could play both, it would be really a plus," Valentine said. "I've been told that he can, and he says that he's most comfortable in center field. We've seen where he's played in the past. We'll figure it out."

Still, Fenway Park offers challenging dimensions for a new center fielder, with the triangle in straightaway center and a lot of ground to cover.

"It's tough work out here to be an outfielder, it's different," Lillibridge said. "I hope I can understand it a little better with time and work on it. It's just kind of first reaction and first instinct and go from there, hopefully don't run to hard into the big, heavy wall, I don't see too much padding out there."