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The Boston Red Sox may have found a solution to their surplus of corner infielders — for a while, anyway.
Kevin Youkilis was ejected and faces a suspension for charging the mound after getting hit by a pitch and throwing his helmet at Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello on Tuesday night. That would give more playing time to Mike Lowell, who pinch ran for Youkilis and hit two homers to lead the Red Sox to a 7-5 victory over Detroit.
"I'm sure something will happen," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "Youk's a real good player and his versatility makes him even better for us. But we have guys, we should be able to do this."
Lowell hit a solo homer in the third to break a 3-3 tie, then added a two-run shot in the fifth to make it 6-3. He also scored on Jason Bay's three-run homer after entering the game as a pinch-runner when Youkilis and Detroit starter Rick Porcello were ejected for sparking the second-inning melee.
"The important thing was: we answered back right away," said Lowell, who has been part of a rotation at the corner infield positions since the Red Sox acquired Victor Martinez at the trading deadline.
The 2007 World Series MVP started the game on the bench, with Youkilis at third and Martinez at first.
"He starts out there watching and pretty quickly he's down there stretching and he ends up having a huge impact on the outcome of the game," Francona said. "That's not easy to do."
Junichi Tazawa allowed three runs - just one earned - while walking two and striking out six in five innings in his first major-league start. In his only other appearance he lost to the New York Yankees on Friday after giving up Alex Rodriguez's two-run, game-ending homer in the 15th inning.
Chris Lambert (0-1) allowed five runs on five hits and four walks in five innings, striking out three in relief after Porcello hit Youkilis in apparent retaliation for Tazawa's plunking of Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera, who like Youkilis was also hit in the series opener on Monday night, later left the game with a bruise on his left hand.
Yankees 7, Blue Jays 5
At New York, Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada hit back-to-back homers leading off the eighth inning and the Yankees won their eighth in nine games.
New York has hit consecutive homers in three straight games for the first time since 1983 and has gone back-to-back 13 times this season.
David Robertson (2-1) retired the only batter he faced to get the win and Mariano Rivera allowed Edwin Encarnacion's first homer with Toronto before finishing for his 33rd save in 34 opportunities.
This program aired on August 12, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.
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