Red Sox put Youkilis on DL with bad back

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Boston Red Sox have placed third baseman Kevin Youkilis on the disabled list because of a back injury and called up catching prospect Ryan Lavarnway from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona announced the moves before Thursday night's game against the Kansas City Royals. Lavarnway was due to make his big league debut as the designated hitter.

Youkilis, who is hitting .266 with 17 homers and 78 RBIs, has missed several games recently because of a sore back. Francona said the team finally decided to shut him down after Wednesday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Youkilis remained in Boston to be examined by doctors while the team hit the road.

Lavarnway will remain the DH for now with David Ortiz sideline by a sore foot. The 24-year-old was batting a combined .293 with 30 homers and 85 RBIs at Double-A and Triple-A.