With the Red Sox facing the Braves and right-hander Jair Jurrgens, Will Middlebrooks -- fresh off a 3-for-4 game in which he drove in four runs and hit his eighth homer -- is in the lineup and batting seventh. Kevin Youkilis, meanwhile, is out of the lineup for a second straight game, the first time since his return from the disabled list on May 22. The Sox, in fact, will have the same lineup that they featured for their 6-5 victory on Thursday against the Marlins.

Despite Kevin Youkilis’ subpar performance this season and multiple trade rumors, former Red Sox infielder and current MLB Network analyst Kevin Millar said he’d take Youkilis over rookie Will Middlebrooks.

According to a report from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Red Sox will trade Kevin Youkilis "soon" and are engaged in "heavy dialogue " with the White Sox regarding the veteran infielder. 

Let’s get this out of the way first: Everyone wants resolution.



On Thursday night, Will Middlebrooks served as the catalyst in the Red Sox' 6-5, come-from-behind victory, going 3-for-4 with a game-tying two-run homer while driving in four runs. He is now hitting .316 with a .352 OBP, a .551 slugging percentage, a .903 OPS, eight homers and 31 RBI, and the Red Sox own a 22-13 record in games when he's started at third base.

Will Middlebrooks tied the game with a long homer to the bleachers in center and drove in four runs as the Red Sox completed the three-game sweep of the Marlins with a 6-5 win Thursday night at a steamy Fenway Park. The Red Sox won their fifth straight and matched their high-water mark of three games over .500 at 36-33. 

Making his third start back off the disabled list, Daisuke Matsuzaka was very shaky in the first frame, giving up three hits and three runs while allowing three stolen bases and needing 33 pitches to get through the inning. 



MIKE PETRAGLIA

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Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford could begin a rehab assignment as soon as Saturday, according to manager Bobby Valentine. Crawford is back in Fort Myers, and barring a setback, he could serve as a designated hitter as soon as Saturday in the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League.

"If he felt as good today and in Florida as he did yesterday, he’s gonna DH," said Valentine.

David Ortiz went off before Thursday's game with the Marlins, expressing the frustration that has been reportedly been simmering for weeks in the Red Sox clubhouse. 

In the middle of one of the best seasons he's had since his record-setting 54-homer season, Ortiz was asked if he were having fun. 

"Not really," said Ortiz, who is leading the team with 18 homers and 49 RBIs while batting .313 heading into Thursday's game. "Too much [expletive], man. People need to leave us alone and let us play baseball."

A day after getting a game off due to the aggravation of his torn adductor muscle in his right thumb, Dustin Pedroia returns to the Red Sox lineup, hitting second. Pedroia and the Sox will be looking for a three-game sweep against the Marlins, who send Carlos Zambrano to the mound, with Daisuke Matsuzaka starting for the Red Sox.

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The following is the Red Sox' lineup: