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Kevin Youkilis bracing for Boston media onslaught

Teammates congratulate Adam Dunn after he hit his 27th home run solo blast sixth inning against Royals starter Luke Hochevar.

Teammates congratulate Adam Dunn after he hit his 27th home run, a solo blast, in the sixth inning against Royals starter Luke Hochevar. | Orlin Wagner~AP

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TODAY

Sox at Royals

The facts: 1:10, CSN, 670-AM.

The starters: Chris Sale (10-2, 2.19 ERA) vs. Luis Mendoza (3-5, 4.50).

Updated: August 17, 2012 6:56AM



KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There seems to be no cooling-down period for Kevin Youkilis as he warms up for his return to Boston. Youkilis’ 14-pitch at-bat in the 14th inning of the White Sox’ 9-8 victory early Saturday morning — which resulted in a sacrifice fly for his fifth game-winning RBI since leaving the Red Sox — was his latest contribution.

‘‘Guys are trying to end the game with a home run, and that’s not what you need sometimes,’’ said Youkilis, who fouled off nine pitches against Royals left-hander Everett Teaford.

Youkilis’ motivation? Getting to bed. The game lasted 5 hours, 23 minutes and ended at 12:33 a.m.

‘‘You’re just trying to go home,’’ he said. ‘‘We don’t get paid for overtime. We get paid very well, but we just wanna go home and get ready for the next day’s game.’’

Youkilis goes ‘‘home’’ when the Sox open a four-game series Monday in Boston. He hopes to talk with the Boston media in one sit-down session and leave it at that, which is probably wishful thinking. Youkilis, who didn’t leave on the best of terms, said he hasn’t thought much about Boston yet.

‘‘No,’’ he said. ‘‘We’ll probably talk about it all four days we’re there.’’

Trade rumors

Twelve days ago, general manager Ken Williams sounded skeptical about trading for a starting pitcher who’d be better than left-hander John Danks, whom he was expecting back from the disabled list.

‘‘We have players we can go out and get in a trade, but they’re not going to be any better than what we have coming back,’’ he said.

One of those players is Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster, who looks more attractive to the Sox now that Danks’ return from a sore shoulder appears to be further away. Williams is thought to be one of many GMs asking about Dempster, who’s on the block as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline nears.

The Tigers and Indians, who are close behind the Sox in the American League Central, also reportedly are asking about Dempster. Stay tuned.

Rotating rotation

Right-hander Dylan Axelrod’s two-inning stint to close the series opener put his scheduled start Tuesday in Boston on hold. One option is to flip-flop right-hander Philip Humber to Tuesday and have Axelrod start Wednesday. Humber would go on four days of rest after his rehab start Thursday at Class AA Birmingham.

Reed it, don’t weep

Closer Addison Reed was relieved to have endured his second blown save in the opener against the Royals without costing the Sox a victory.

‘‘It’s going to happen,’’ Reed said. ‘‘Just forget about it. There’s nothing I can do about yesterday, so I’m going out there and hopefully getting another save opportunity tonight.’’

Reed made his 35th appearance and said he couldn’t feel better.

‘‘I feel more than OK,’’ he said. ‘‘I feel great, yeah. Much stronger than I did at this point last year. Everything on my body feels good. Not one thing is sore.’’



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