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Originally published Monday, June 25, 2012 at 9:11 PM

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Baseball Notebook: Brent Lillibridge excited about fresh start in Boston

Brent Lillibridge, a former University of Washington star, joined the Red Sox and said he felt like he did the day he first played in the majors.

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BOSTON — Brent Lillibridge's first day with the Boston Red Sox had him flashing back to his first day in the big leagues.

Lillibridge, acquired from the Chicago White Sox with right-hander Zach Stewart for veteran Kevin Youkilis and cash on Sunday, stood at his new Fenway Park locker Monday night with nervous energy he said he hadn't felt in five years.

The 28-year-old utility player, who starred at Jackson High School of Mill Creek and the University of Washington, was looking forward to a new start with the Red Sox.

"I didn't sleep too well last night. I kind of felt like I was getting called up again for the first time," said Lillibridge, who made his major-league debut with Atlanta in 2008.

He claimed the locker vacated by Youkilis, and played in Boston's loss to Toronto as a ninth-inning defensive replacement in right field.

"I'm excited," he said before the game. "I don't think any player is ever excited about moving on, but I'm just excited about being here."

Lillibridge hit .175 with two runs batted in and seven stolen bases in 48 games for the White Sox.

"I watched some film (of him) this afternoon," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "I saw his statistics. He looks like he can be a contributing factor with a winning team."

Hamilton trying

to break old habit

ARLINGTON, Texas — Josh Hamilton is trying to stop the dips — in his batting average and chewing tobacco.

The Texas Rangers lugger is in an extended slump, his averaging sinking from .404 in mid-May to .318. But he's only been trying to quit chewing tobacco for a couple of days.

"It's a habit, and I don't really enjoy like I used to," he said.

Hamilton said he's using gum, sunflower seeds and toothpicks treated with tea tree oil.

Hamilton still leads the majors with 66 RBI despite only two homers in his past 22 games.

Notes

• Cubs prospect Anthony Rizzo, a 22-year-old slugger hitting .342 with 23 home runs and 62 RBI for AAA Iowa, was called up and could get his first start in the majors Tuesday.

• The Dodgers all but ruled out injured OF Matt Kemp for next month's All-Star Game. General manager Ned Colletti calls it a "long shot." Kemp is on the disabled list with a strained hamstring.

• Infielder Miguel Tejada, 38, who has 304 career home runs, was released from his minor-league contract with Baltimore at his request.

• Free-agent OF Marlon Byrd was suspended 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. He started the season with the Cubs, was traded to the Red Sox and was released June 13.

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