CHICAGO -- The message that comes from baseball scouts is: Do not get Kevin Youkilis upset. The Chicago White Sox third baseman hit his third career grand slam on Tuesday night to put the win over the New York Yankees on ice.
On Monday night, Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain hit Youkilis with a pitch in the ribs for no apparent reason.
“I guess those two have some history,” said a Yankees source. “I am not sure what it is all about because it was going on before I got here.”
Youkilis, who has been as clutch a performer as anyone on the Sox since coming over from Boston, admitted after the game that Chamberlain had thrown at him on numerous occasions before he got hit on Monday. The unnecessary wakeup call by Chamberlain usually works in reverse with players like the gutty Youkilis.
“That was something that was just there for years when they played against each other,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said after the 7-3 White Sox victory. “You just look at it and keep playing.
“In that situation he is trying to get something in the air. It was a good at-bat because it didn’t seem it was going to go that far, but he has surprising power.”
Youkilis wasn’t expecting a grand slam either.
“It depends on the situation, because if there is nobody out you’re just trying to drive a ball to the opposite field to bring home a runner,” Youkilis said. “That was what I was trying to do and I was very lucky it got over the fence.”
The grand slam by Youkilis was his second at U.S Cellular Field this season -- the other was as a Red Sox player April 26. Youkilis is the first player to hit a grand slam both for and against the same team since 1952, when Don Lenhardt with it with Detroit and Boston.