Youk's late error halts streak
Slugger ends longest stretch at first without a miscue in history
BOSTON -- It had been a long time since Kevin Youkilis committed an error at first base for the Red Sox coming into Saturday's game against the Mariners.
The number was 238 games, to be exact, stretching 2,002 fielding attempts dating back to July 4, 2006 -- both Major League records. Youkilis, the 2007 American League Gold Glove Award winner at first, is known for his flashy glove and versatility. He's already filled in at right field this week due to Jacoby Ellsbury's injury on Thursday, and he started Saturday's game at third.
But Youkilis's streak was snapped late in Saturday's 11-3 win over the Mariners. With Mike Lowell pinch-hitting for first baseman Sean Casey in the eighth inning, manager Terry Francona moved Youkilis from third to first to fill the hole. In the ninth, a dropped throw from second baseman Alex Cora ended the record errorless streak.
The sure-handed fielder was in good spirits after the game while taking questions about the rare error.
"I'm hugely disappointed; I might not be able to go to sleep tonight," Youkilis joked. "No ... It's part of the game."
Pinch-hitter Willie Bloomquist sent a ground ball between Youkilis and Cora. When Youkilis realized he couldn't get to the ball, he turned to cover first. Youkilis and the ball met just as he turned back toward the throw, resulting in the ball dropping to the ground and Bloomquist reaching base.
It was the first time the official scorer announced "E-3" with Youkilis playing first in almost two years.
"The ball was on me, I turned around and didn't see it," Youkilis said. "And it got on me and I dropped it."
Francona said while he never would say making an error is a good thing, this particular occurrence will allow him and the rest of the Red Sox organization a chance to praise Youkilis for his skills in the field.
"Because he made that error, there will be a lot of attention nationally," Francona said, "which is good, 'cause it's a chance to brag about him. That doesn't take away from the first baseman he is."
It was, in Francona's eyes, about as innocent as an error can be.
"What a way [to end the streak]," Francona said. "He just got caught up in between. He went to get the ball and AC [Cora] couldn't hold onto it any longer. And it handcuffed him."
Mark Remme is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.