BOSTON -- Third baseman Kevin Youkilis resumed baseball activities on Thursday as he continues to improve from a lower back strain.
Youkilis, who has not played since April 28 vs. the White Sox, played catch before Thursday's game against Cleveland.
Youkilis is eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list Monday, when Boston opens a two-game series against Seattle. That might be a stretch, though, considering he is not ready to swing a bat.
"Talking to him yesterday, it seemed like he could swing, but they're delaying it a little," said manager Bobby Valentine.
The Red Sox have gotten production from third base during Youkilis' absence. Top prospect Will Middlebrooks has 10 hits in seven games since his Major League debut on May 2.
Middlebrooks is batting .323 with three home runs and nine RBIs entering Thursday's game.
Big Papi exits early with heel soreness
BOSTON -- David Ortiz escaped injury on his way to the ballpark, but his luck ran out during the Red Sox's 7-5 win over the Indians on Friday.
The Red Sox slugger left Friday's game with left heel soreness in the seventh inning when his spot in the batting order came up. Darnell McDonald replaced him as Boston's designated hitter.
Ortiz was involved in a car accident on his way to Fenway Park earlier in the afternoon, but he was unharmed. He legged out an infield single in the fifth inning, barely beating the throw from Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. Ortiz stayed in the game and reached second base after Adrian Gonzalez walked.
But Ortiz did not return to the game after the fifth. He finished the night 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
"David got that infield hit, and I haven't gotten the complete word, it seemed like when he [hit] the bag, he might have bruised his heel," said manager Bobby Valentine. "That's what was reported to me: Bruised heel, couldn't go. So that's how I think he did it."
McDonald struck out swinging in his first at-bat replacing Ortiz, who has played in all 32 games this season.
Ortiz left the clubhouse before it was opened up to the media and was unavailable for comment.
Springsteen to play Fenway Park in August
BOSTON -- The Boss is coming back to Fenway Park.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will celebrate the ballpark's 100th anniversary with a concert on Aug. 14, pending city approval. The group made history on Sept. 6, 2003, when they headlined the first rock concert at Fenway Park.
On Friday, Springsteen and his band announced they will open the second leg of their United States "Wrecking Ball" World Tour in Boston.
Tickets will be available at LiveNation.com, Etix.com, the Orpheum Theatre Box Office or by calling 800-514-3849.
The "Wrecking Ball" World Tour heads to Europe between May 13 and July 31 before returning to America. Springsteen's latest album was released in March and debuted at No. 1 in the U.S and 15 other countries.
Roger Waters is also performing at Fenway Park this summer, with a concert on July 1.
While Springsteen started the summer concert trend in 2003, the ballpark has hosted several big-name acts in each summer since. Aerosmith, Dave Matthews Band, Jimmy Buffet, Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones have all performed at Fenway Park.
Sox land Podsednik as part of two Minors deals
BOSTON -- The Red Sox added veteran outfield depth to Triple-A Pawtucket Friday, as they acquired 36-year-old Scott Podsednik from the Phillies in exchange for cash considerations.
Podsednik hasn't played in the Majors since 2010, and he was hitting .203 in 74 at-bats for the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Podsednik stole 70 bases with the Brewers in 2004, and he has been successful in six of seven attempts this year, with a .289 on-base percentage. In 10 big league seasons, Podsednik's a .279 hitter with a .340 OBP and 301 steals in 403 tries. He's played in the Majors for the White Sox, Mariners, Brewers, Rockies and Dodgers.
Injuries to Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury have had a trickle-down effect that's left the Sox's outfield corps thin at the organization's highest levels. FOX Sports first reported the trade.
In another Minor League deal, the Red Sox sent infielder Jeff Larish to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for cash considerations. Larish signed with Boston on May 2, but he did not appear in any games in the Sox's farm system.
Larish last played in the Majors in 2010, splitting time between Detroit and Oakland. He was in the Phillies' farm system in 2011. Larish will report to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Dice-K to take mound for PawSox on Saturday
BOSTON -- Starter Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday in his latest rehab outing.
Manager Bobby Valentine said Matsuzaka's pitch limit would be about 90, depending on how his outing goes.
Matsuzaka began his rehab assignment on April 23. The latest possible date for him to pitch in the Minors is May 22, but Valentine believes the right-hander is close to pitching in the Major Leagues again.
"He's done everything except for stringing the innings together," Valentine said. "He's worked on all of his pitches. He's happy with his pitches, he's happy with his velocity, his strength, his ability to field, pitch out of the stretch, wind up.
"If there's a checklist, he's checked off a lot of those things. Now it's just stringing innings together."
Matsuzaka underwent Tommy John surgery on June 10, 2011. In three rehab starts, Matsuzaka has pitched 13 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on 11 hits with 14 strikeouts against five walks. His ERA is 2.70.
Sox to honor breast cancer survivor Sunday
BOSTON -- The Red Sox will honor breast cancer survivor Cathy Holt on Sunday at Fenway Park as part of the 2012 Honorary Bat Girl program.
The program recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrate a commitment to "Going to Bat" in the fight against the disease.
Holt is from Litchfield, Maine. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2008. Since her diagnosis, Holt has been an active fundraiser for "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" as well as the annual "Relay for Life" for the American Cancer Society.
Holt is one of 30 winners, one for each Major League club, who will take part in pregame activities and be honored during an on-field ceremony. Each winner was selected by a guest judging panel that includes MLB players and celebrities in addition to fan votes casted on HonoraryBatGirl.com.
The guest judges included former Red Sox shortstop and current ESPN analyst Nomar Garciaparra, whose grandmother passed away from breast cancer.
The Honorary Bat Girl Contest was introduced in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative celebrated on Mother's Day.
The Red Sox close out a four-game series against the Indians on Sunday.
Austin Laymance is an associate for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.