Kevin Youkilis out of Red Sox lineup for third straight game

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For the third straight game the Red Sox will be without Kevin Youkilis, as the third baseman is sitting out tonight’s matchup versus the A’s with a sore back.

Youkilis was initially in the lineup yesterday before being a late scratch and barring an appearance off the bench tonight he will have played just 18 of the first 23 games while hitting .213 with a .635 OPS.

Youkilis also struggled down the stretch last season, hitting a combined .190 in August and September in between disabled list stints for a back injury and sports hernia.

Light-hitting utility man Nick Punto will continue to fill in at third base.