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08/07/08 12:40 AM ET

Youkilis suffers right hand contusion

Sox first baseman exits game after being hit by a pitch in first

KANSAS CITY -- Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis had to leave Wednesday night's game against the Royals in the bottom of the first inning after suffering a contusion on his right hand. This, thanks to a 92-mph fastball from Royals starter Luke Hochevar.

Fortunately for the Red Sox, X-rays were negative. Youkilis is day-to-day. There's a chance Youkilis will be back in the lineup on Friday night, when the Red Sox open a four-game series in Chicago against the White Sox.

"It's a pretty good bruise," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "The good news is there's no break. By the time I got out there, it was already turning black. I think the trainers feel there's a decent chance he'll play Friday. So that's good news. It sounds like it's a matter of a day or two, as opposed to something that looked like it had a chance to be bad."

It happened in the top of the first inning, though Youkilis originally stayed in the game and took first base. But once the Red Sox came out for defense in the bottom of the inning, Sean Casey took over for Youkilis at first base.

Youkilis has been an invaluable member of the Red Sox, so much so that Francona moved him to the cleanup spot on Monday.

In the five games before Wednesday, Youkilis was on a certifiable tear, hitting .435 (10-for-23) with three doubles, two homers and six RBIs.

"Tomorrow is an off-day, that's all I know," said Youkilis. "Hopefully, I'll play [Friday]. That's the bottom line."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.