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09/02/2011 - 3:24pm
Youkilis batting cleanup against Rangers

Kevin Youkilis returns from the disabled list on Friday, having spent the 15-day minimum on the sidelines for his lower back strain. He played a pair of rehab games for Triple-A Pawtucket this week, going 2-for-8 with a home run, in anticipation of being activated. The Sox averaged 5.9 runs (second-best in the AL) and went 9-5 without Youkilis.

Youkilis is hitting .266 with a .380 OBP, .481 slugging mark and .861 OPS, along with 17 homers and 78 RBI. Against lefties, he is hitting .303 with a .981 OPS.

With the third baseman reclaiming his customary cleanup spot, the Red Sox lineup will be very similar to the one the team used during the early months of the season, with Dustin Pedroia back in the second spot of the lineup. With Rangers left-hander Derek Holland on the hill, Darnell McDonald gets the start in right field over Josh Reddick.

For a look at how the Sox and Rangers have fared against starters Holland and Red Sox lefty Andrew...

09/02/2011 - 2:58pm
Report: Suh not fined for swipe at Mankins

According to Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com, the NFL will not fine Lions defensive tackle defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh for his role in an altercation with Patriots guard Logan Mankins in Saturday's preseason game.

Suh appeared to take a swing at Mankins -- who had just been flagged for a 15-yard penalty for pulling the face mask of defensive end Lawrence Jackson -- in the second quarter of the game. No penalty was called on Suh, who was fined earlier this preseason for a hit on Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and twice last year for hits on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and Jake Delhomme of the Browns.

For more Patriots news visit weei.com/patriots.


09/02/2011 - 2:28pm
King on M&M: Onus on Ochocinco

Sports Illustrated's Peter King made his weekly appearance on the Mut & Merloni show Friday to talk about the Patriots and other NFL news.

Albert Haynesworth made his first appearance in a Patriots uniform Thursday night against the Giants, making two tackles as he works his way back into shape. King had both criticism and praise for the controversial defensive lineman.

"It's just a good example of who the guy is that he doesn't show up ready to go when he's making whatever it is, 5 million bucks this year. It's one of the reasons why the Redskins wanted to get rid of him," King said. "Having said that, I said in the magazine this week that I thought he'd be the Comeback Player of the Year. Because I believe if [Bill] Belichick can't get it out of him, nobody can. And there is definitely something very good to be gotten. I still think Haynesworth is going to be a positive for the Patriots."

Chad Ochocinco has...

09/02/2011 - 2:10pm
Sources: Patriots release Farnham

With the league mandating that all teams must cut to 53 by Saturday at 4 p.m., the Patriots have already started making moves. According to league sources, three players — wide receiver Buddy Farnham, running back Richard Medlin and offensive lineman Jonathan Compas — have all been informed of their release.

Farnham, a Massachusetts native, played both offense and defense for the Patriots over the course of the preseason, finishing with one interception as a safety as well as six catches for 48 yards as a wide receiver. Medlin showed some versatility out of the backfield, running the ball 20 times for 66 yards and adding six catches for 39 yards. Compas is a 25-year-old who has worked primarily as an interior offensive lineman.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.


09/02/2011 - 10:07am
Byers on D&C: Belak death 'sad coincidence'

Former Bruins enforcer Lyndon Byers, now a morning co-host at WAAF, joined sister station WEEI Friday morning for a discussion about problems with brain damage caused by repeated hits to the head in hockey.

Wade Belak died this week -- reportedly a suicide -- and became the third NHL enforcer of playing age to die in the last four months, joining Rick Rypien and Derek Boogaard.

Byers said he's not treating Belak's case the same as the previous two.

"Sad coincidence," Byers said. "I expected a knee-jerk reaction. It's very, very sad that Wade Belak hung himself. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. I think it's completely separate from Rypien and [Boogaard]. To be honest, I think all three deaths are completely separate.

"The Boogaard incident, he was doing drugs with his brother and overdosed. His brother might be going to jail for that. Rick Rypien dealt with depression. Millions of Americans --...

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