Crawford makes quick work of rehab stint

By Mike Scandura
Globe Correspondent / July 17, 2011

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PAWTUCKET, R.I. - First, the good news.

Carl Crawford completed his two-game rehab assignment last night with the Pawtucket Red Sox without reinjuring his left hamstring.

Crawford will meet the big club in Baltimore tomorrow for a three-game series.

The bad news was that Crawford, who again only played five innings in left field, was hitless in three at-bats and wasn’t able to manage even a loud foul ball. And Crawford didn’t have to make any plays in the field.

“He got his work in and was happy with what he did,’’ PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler said. “He came in and got his treatment and got out of here.

“I haven’t gone into the training room yet, but I think they would have told me if anything happened. I didn’t hear anything negative at all.’’

Beyeler was the only person available to discuss Crawford’s performance after the PawSox’ 11-8 loss. Crawford exited McCoy Stadium without informing any team official of his plans to leave.

Before the game, Crawford expressed displeasure at an article that appeared in yesterday’s Providence Journal that, among other things, detailed his slow start to the season.

In the first inning, Durham righthander Matt Torra, a Pittsfield, Mass., native who attended UMass, induced Crawford to swing and miss at an inside fastball on a 1-and-2 pitch.

In the third, Crawford had an opportunity to flash his speed when he hit a grounder to first baseman Dan Johnson, who threw to Torra for the out.

But Crawford busted down the line and made a routine play close.

Durham led, 7-1, entering the bottom of the fourth. Pawtucket rallied for two runs and had men on first and third with one out when Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo replaced Torra with lefthander R.J. Swindle.

Swindle kept Crawford off-balance during that at-bat with off-speed pitches.

Finally, Swindle, who throws with a three-quarter delivery, jammed Crawford with a 3-and-2 pitch and he popped weakly to third base.

Crawford’s inability to reach base proved costly to the outcome when, after Ryan Lavarnway walked, Lars Anderson belted a grand slam that tied the score, 7-7.

“You can’t work on your timing in BP. That’s why he came down here,’’ Beyeler said. “He’s going to have to get his timing back and get going again. All these guys do the same thing. He’s going to have to get at-bats.

“But he’s a speed guy. He can put the ball in play and cause some havoc on the bases and play defense and do some stuff. From that standpoint, he’s still a dangerous guy. It’s not like he’s a clogger, so if he doesn’t hit, he doesn’t bring anything else to the table.

“He’ll put the ball in play and he’ll be a tough out until he gets things rolling. All some of these guys need is for the big league lights to turn on they’re ready to roll.’’

Crawford could have had a fourth at-bat in the fifth with two outs and the bases loaded, but Beyeler was set to send up Nate Spears as a pinch hitter. Spears grounded to second.

“It would have been nice to have [Crawford] come to the plate,’’ Beyeler said. “Even if we knew [we were going to load the bases], he wasn’t going to hit. He was getting three at-bats and getting out of here.’’

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