Kevin Youkilis and J.D. Drew to begin rehab stints tonight

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Kevin Youkilis and J.D. Drew are both expected to begin brief minor-league rehab assignments tonight at Triple-A.

Drew has been out since mid-July with a shoulder injury and is already eligible to come off the disabled list, but Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that he’s unlikely to be activated until rosters expand on Thursday. However, once he does return Drew could see significant playing time given Josh Reddick’s recent struggles.

Youkilis is eligible to return Friday and it sounds like he’s on track to do so. He’s been out since August 17 with back problems.

Brandon Belt, Jaime Barrios set new modern record with 21-pitch at-bat

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Angels starter Jaime Barrios and Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record with a 21-pitch at-bat in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Anaheim. Belt fell behind 1-2 and mostly kept fouling pitches off. The count ran full on the ninth pitch and Belt would foul off 11 more pitches before finally lining out to right field.

As Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, the previous record was set on June 26, 1998 when the Indians’ Bartolo Colon and the Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez battled for 20 pitches. Gutierrez eventually struck out.