ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The news is good on ailing second baseman Dustin Pedroia as the Boston Red Sox prepared to open a six-game road trip here on Tuesday night. But the Sox did place first baseman Kevin Youkilis on the 15-day disabled list with a sore left side.
Youklis, who last played May 4 in a game against the New York Yankees, is eligible to return next Tuesday, when Boston opens a six-game homestand against Toronto. The Sox recalled infielder Gil Velazquez from Triple-A Pawtucket to replace him.
As for Pedroia, his sore groin felt well enough that he asked to play when he arrived at Angel Stadium on Tuesday. The Red Sox took that under consideration, smiled, and said no.
"Everything really is good," manager Terry Francona said. "He stretched and he reported in way better than we expected."
Even so, the last thing the Sox want to do is take an unnecessary chance with last summer's American League Most Valuable Player. Especially with first baseman Youkilis missing his seventh consecutive game Tuesday night with a sore left rib cage.
So Nick Green was in the lineup at second base and hitting ninth for the series opener against the Angels, and Jeff Bailey was at first base and batting seventh.
So the Sox were set to go to battle Tuesday night with 23 players, two short of the maximum.
"We're trying to use patience," Francona said. "It's not an exact science. If we ever make a mistake, I guess we want to react on the side of caution."
As for playing short-handed, which the Sox have been doing since Youklis left the Yankees' game, Francona said, "It reminds us of how much we like our guys," Francona said. "Guys are stepping up."
The hope is that Pedroia will be back in action on Wednesday night. Over his past 10 games, the second baseman is hitting .410 (16 for 39) with two doubles, five RBI, 12 runs scored, seven walks and a steal.