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Sox’ Kevin Youkilis settles in after crazy stretch

The White Sox’ KevYoukilis follows through first-inning single Tuesday against Twins. | Jim Mone~AP

The White Sox’ Kevin Youkilis follows through on a first-inning single Tuesday against the Twins. | Jim Mone~AP

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Sox at Twins

The facts: 12:10 p.m.,
Ch. 9, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.

The starters: Chris Sale (8-2, 2.24 ERA) vs. Nick Blackburn (4-4, 7.45).

Updated: July 28, 2012 6:39AM

MINNEAPOLIS — President Barack Obama’s ‘‘thanks for Youkilis’’ wisecrack at a fund-raiser Monday in Boston — as former Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis was playing his first game for the White Sox — only added an unusual twist in an unusual time for the newest Sox player.

Before playing in his second game for the Sox on Tuesday against the Minnesota Twins, Youkilis said he finally was calming down after a whirlwind
30-hour period that included the trade and his first game as a South Sider.

‘‘Being here and going to the hotel and then coming to the field and having a normal 24 hours, it’s a lot easier to concentrate on playing,’’ Youkilis said. ‘‘Kind of trying to each day push [the Red Sox] away because this is my new team. I can still keep in contact with those guys and stay friends with them, but it’s not my team anymore. It’s definitely a realization, and it’s good to be in first place rather than at the bottom.’’

When the Sox open a four-game series Thursday at Yankee Stadium, Youkilis knows he’ll hear more boos than ‘‘Youuuks.’’

‘‘They’ll probably hound me and get on me pretty good,’’ Youkilis said. ‘‘But I definitely know one thing: They don’t hate me as much as they used to [now that] I changed teams. It will be fun.’’

Hudson moves on

Orlando Hudson is taking ground balls at second base again, where he played Gold Glove defense for four seasons.

The Sox’ trade for Youkilis effectively turned Hudson into a utility infielder, a role he’s not accustomed to but one he accepts. General manager Ken Williams, who signed Hudson to take injured Brent Morel’s place last month before pursuing a better option in Youkilis, sat down with Hudson on Monday.

‘‘We had a great conversation,’’ Hudson said. ‘‘Everything is good. I definitely understand, but it wasn’t easy for me. It was a struggle.’’

Hudson, 34, said he had offers to play second base every day with other teams, but the only thing he cares about is winning, which is why he came to the Sox.

‘‘Whatever I can do to help this team win a ballgame, no matter what it is — come off the bench and lay a bunt down or run the bases — I’m all in,’’ said Hudson, who entered play Tuesday hitting .170. ‘‘I want to win.’’

This and that

Pitching prospect Nestor Molina, whom the Sox acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in the Sergio Santos trade, had an MRI exam on his right elbow as a precaution, the team said. The Sox say Molina is expected to miss one or two starts at
Class AAA Charlotte.

† The Sox requested waivers on outfielder Kosuke Fukudome for the purpose of granting his unconditional release.

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