BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox put first baseman Kevin Youkilis on the 15-day disabled list with a thumb injury Tuesday and acknowledged his season could be over.

Youkilis tore a muscle in his right thumb during Monday night’s 6-5 loss to Cleveland. He lined out to end the first inning, grabbed his hand in pain and stayed in until the third.

“It’s a very unusual injury, not a common occurrence for hitters to have this,” Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein said. “It’s not clear how long it will be or it’s not clear if he’ll need surgery. If he does need surgery, it can be fixed.”

Epstein said the injured muscle is one that helps move the thumb. Asked if surgery would end Youkilis’ season, Epstein said: “Realistically, yes.”

To take Youkilis’ place, the club activated Mike Lowell from the disabled list.

 

PHILLIES: Ryan Howard, who was leading the NL with 81 RBI, went on the disabled list because of a sprained left ankle. The team said the sprain was moderate.

 

WHITE SOX: Manager Ozzie Guillen said his comments about Latin American players were taken out of context.

Guillen said over the weekend that Asian players are given privileges in the United States that Latinos are not, including translators. He also said he’s the “only one” in baseball teaching young Latin Americans to stay away from performance-enhancing drugs and that baseball doesn’t care about the issue.

 

ROCKIES: Colorado activated first baseman Todd Helton from the 15-day disabled list.

• Colorado claimed infielder Wes Hodges off waivers from Cleveland and optioned him to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

 

CARDINALS: Reliever Jason Motte was examined for a shoulder problem, a day after issuing consecutive walks.

• Rookie third baseman David Freese will miss the rest of the season with a tendon injury in his right leg that will require surgery.

 

NATIONALS: Cuban right-hander Yunesky Maya was optioned to Washington’s club in the rookie Gulf Coast League.

 

REDS: Cincinnati put shortstop Orlando Cabrera on the 15-day disabled list with a strain in his left side.

 

ANGELS: Los Angeles is shifting Torii Hunter, a nine-time Gold Glove winner, from center field to right field.

 

RANGERS: Texas will go on the auction block in federal bankruptcy court today in one of the most contentious sales of an American professional sports team. The only other major-league team sold this way was Baltimore in 1993.

 

TWINS: Catcher Joe Mauer, who has been dealing with tendinitis in his right shoulder, returned to the starting lineup as the designated hitter.

 

TIGERS: Third baseman Brandon Inge began a rehabilitation assignment at Class A West Michigan.

 

MARINERS: Seattle optioned former starting catcher Rob Johnson to Triple-A Tacoma and recalled catcher Adam Moore from the minors.

 

WHITE SOX: Chicago placed pitcher Erick Threets on the 15-day disabled list with turf toe in his left big toe and recalled Carlos Torres from Triple-A Charlotte.