Youkilis' return to lineup short-lived

Youkilis' return to lineup short-lived

DETROIT -- Kevin Youkilis thought he was over the right leg bruise that knocked him out of Wednesday night's game. The first baseman was back in the Boston lineup on Thursday afternoon, batting third.

However, with the Red Sox holding a 6-3 lead in the top of the fourth, Mark Kotsay pinch-hit for Youkilis.

The Red Sox, who wound up winning the game by that 6-3 margin, announced that Youkilis was removed from the contest with a tight right calf for precautionary reasons.

"It wasn't so much where he got hit," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "It was his calf was getting tight, and he woke up like that and they had stretched it before the game. You could kind of see him running the bases. It looked like it was bothering him. He didn't want to come out. He said he didn't need to come out, but the more I watched him, the more I said, 'That would be a bad mistake on my part to leave him in and have something happen.'"

It was the Achilles/ankle area that forced Youkilis out of Wednesday's game.

Still, the injuries appeared to be directly related.

"I would think so," Francona said. "Whether it was swelling, whether he walked different, whether he ran different, I don't know. But I know we didn't want to let it get out of hand."

Will Youkilis be in the lineup on Friday night, when the Red Sox open a three-game series at Fenway Park against the Rangers? The first baseman was unavailable for comment before the Red Sox departed Detroit.

"I don't know," Youkilis said. "We'll see."

The injury on Wednesday occurred when the Tigers' Josh Anderson, in the process of trying to beat a double play, collided with Youkilis at first base. Initially, it appeared that Youkilis was spiked. It turns out that Anderson inadvertently kicked Youkilis as he ran through the bag.

Kotsay, who was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday, went 0-for-3.

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