Red Sox manager Terry Francona said after his team's 3-1, 14-inning loss to the Royals that the tests on Kevin Youkilis' right hamstring were encouraging, but the third baseman would still most likely miss the team's game against Kansas City Tuesday.

Youkilis was forced to exit the game Monday night after landing awkwardly on first base while running out a ground ball in the sixth inning.

Speaking after the Red Sox' 3-1, 14-inning loss to the Royals, starter Jon Lester said he came away from his first outing since July 5 with a good deal of optimism, having allowed just one run over 5 1/3 innings. 

"I felt good," said the lefty, who was coming back from a left lat strain. "I felt like I hadn't pitched in two weeks. But as far as the lat goes, I felt fine. No pain, really nothing. I felt fine."

Talking after the Red Sox' 14-inning, 3-1 loss to the Royals, it was revealed that Marco Scutaro had missed the sign on a suicide squeeze bunt attempt with one out in the 12th inning, leading to Josh Reddick to be caught in a run-down between third base and home plate.

"I didn't see the sign. it was my fault. I just missed the sign," Scutaro said. "I really can't say nothing else. It was just my fault."

After a 2-hour, 21-minute rain delay, and 4 hours and 28 minutes of baseball, the Royals claimed a 3-1 win over the Red Sox Monday night at Fenway Park. The winning run came on Mike Aviles' 14th-inning squeeze bunt, which sailed over the head of a charging Adrian Gonzalez, allowing Eric Hosmer to score. The decisive play came against Red Sox reliever Randy Williams, who had been part of a collection of Sox' relievers which had combined to throw 7 2/3 scoreless innings entering the final frame. 

Though the Red Sox had initially planned on keeping Kyle Weiland on their active roster with J.D. Drew going on the disabled list for his shoulder impingement to clear a roster spot for the return of Jon Lester, that plan changed on Monday night.

The Sox will instead option Weiland to Triple-A Pawtucket prior to Monday's game and keep Drew on the active roster; the team is likely to make another roster move tomorrow to call up Drew Sutton from Pawtucket with Drew landing on the DL on Tuesday.

Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz, on the disabled list since mid-June due to a muscle strain in his lower back, threw 30 pitches off a bullpen mound -- his first session off a mound since the end of June in Philadelphia -- and proclaimed the session to represent a significant marker in his progress back to the rotation. Buchholz threw a "short box" session, in which the catcher sits in front of home plate, and suggested that he got through the session with only minor soreness that he was quickly able to manage.

Red Sox starter Jon Lester (10-4, 3.31 ERA) will be on the mound for the first time since July 6, when a strained lat muscle led to a precautionary stint on the disabled list. The left-hander is expected to throw 80-90 pitches as he works his way back into the rotation against the Royals, who were shut out by the Rays on Sunday.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, one day after driving in his most runs (4) as a member of the Red Sox, will be behind the plate for Lester, as the Sox will feature the same lineup that plated 12 runs against the Mariners on Sunday.

The trade deadline: Even for contenders, it’s not just about 2011.

July 31 represents the end-point for teams to make trades that do not require waivers. The final days building up to the end of the month invariably feature a flurry of rumors and activity as teams look to improve their positions.



According to Sean McAdam of CSN New England (via twitter), Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew will be placed on the disabled list on Monday due to an impingement in his left shoulder. The Boston Globe reported earlier on Sunday that the condition required an MRI recently.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia had three hits and drove in four while Carl Crawford added three hits in support of Tim Wakefield as the Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of the woeful Mariners, 12-8, Sunday at Fenway Park. Adrian Gonzalez also had three hits for the Red Sox, who won their fourth straight and improved to a major league-best 16-3 in July and a season-high 25 games over .500 at 62-37. The win also keeps the Red Sox three games ahead of the second-place Yankees in the AL East as New York beat the A's, 7-5, on Sunday.