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In 15 games since returning from a non-displaced fracture of his left index finger, Crisp is batting .273 with nine runs scored ... has walked only five times this season with a .320 on-base percentage.
"When you're in the leadoff spot, it can be a little more glaring if you're not getting on because you're in the leadoff spot," manager Terry Francona said. "This actually isn't a big deal to me. I did it because I thought it would help us and help him. I just want to try and do what's right for guys and our team at the same time."
Youkilis ranks fourth in the American League with a .434 on-base percentage, fifth with 44 walks and is 13th with a .319 batting average.
"I think this way we'll let Coco settle in, and the other thing is maybe we can let him run a little more freely down there without the big boys coming up," Francona said, referring to Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. "Maybe we'll get a little bit of an advantage on both ends."
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