Aviles knows Crawford's pain

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Aviles knows Crawford's pain

Tomorrow morning, while youre stuck in traffic, hitting the snooze bar, or (more likely) feverishly hitting the refresh on this blog, Carl Crawford will be on the operating table. There, Dr. James Andrews and his team of robot surgeons will slice into the outfielders arm and officially disprove the once-unanimous theory:

Theres no way Crawfords second year in Boston can be less productive than his first.

Then, once surgery is in the books, well turn our attention to year three of the Carl Crawford Era, and a few obvious questions:

1. When will he be back in the line-up?

2. When will he be 100 percent?

3. Will he ever be 100 percent?

4. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to watch someone flush 120M down the toilet?

Early speculation ball-parked Crawfords recovery time at somewhere between 7-9 months, but in the quest for clarity, Rob Bradford sat down with a position player who knows a thing or two about coming back from Tommy John surgery: The friendly Mike Aviles.

Around 7 months I was playing in spring training games, and that was kind of rare, said Aviles, who underwent Tommy John in July of 2009. I still wasnt able to play shortstop, but I was able to play second because my throws just didnt have the extra carry that I needed.

He continued: I felt fully healed once the season started, but you could still feel as the months went on that your arm continued to get stronger. I would say right around the year mark is when I felt completely, fully, fully back to normal."

Of course, everyone's different. Then, there's the fact that Aviles is a middle infielder and Crawford's an outfielder. (The most notable outfielder I found to have had the surgery is Matt Holiday, who went under in July of 2001 and was ready for the start of the next season. But then again, that was back when he was a 21-year-old minor leaguer.)

Speaking of age, we also have to consider that Aviles had the surgery shortly after his 28th birthday, where as Crawford just turned 31. There's also the grim reality that Crawford hasn't exactly proven himself to be a quick healer during his two years in Boston.

Either way, best case scenario, it seems like we'll be looking at least next August before we see Carl Crawford at his best and brightest. And to that, I'll say there's a very good chance that year three is just as unproductive as the first two.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10

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Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Dustin Pedroia used nifty baserunning to score from first base on David Ortiz's double in the 10th inning and the AL East-leading Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Sunday for their 11th consecutive win.

Pedroia singled off Eddie Gamboa (0-1) to start the inning. The relay throw on Ortiz's hit to right center beat Pedroia to plate but he avoided Luke Maile's first tag. Pedroia's momentum carried him past the plate and when he went back to touch it, Maile was charged with an error when the ball dropped out his glove on another tag try.

Pedroia hit a solo homer and Mookie Betts extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single for the Red Sox, who secured at least an AL wild-card spot Saturday night. Boston's magic number to clinch the division title dropped to two.

Joe Kelly (4-0) went 2 2/3 scoreless innings for the win.

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out a career-high 13 in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander and Heath Hembree combined to strikeout 11 consecutive batters to establish a major league-record. The New York Mets held the previous mark when Tom Seaver struck out 10 in a row against San Diego on Apr. 22, 1970.

Boston also set a club record by striking out 21 through nine. Kelly added two more in the 10th.

There was a moment of silence before the game for Miami pitcher Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident early Sunday. Fernandez played high school baseball in nearby Tampa, Florida after defecting from Cuba.

The Rays planned to honor Ortiz before his final game at Tropicana Field but canceled the ceremony at Ortiz's request after Fernandez's death. He had three hits in five at-bats and moved past Frank Thomas for 107th place on the career list with 2,469 hits.

Ortiz has 35 homers and 90 RBIs at Tropicana Field, which is the most of any visiting player. Alex Rodriguez is next with 30 homers and 73 RBIs.

HONORING BIG PAPI

Rays 3B Evan Longoria and RHP Chris Archer informally presented Ortiz with an oil painting of his 500th home run, which he hit at Tropicana Field last season. Ortiz was also given 34 special handmade Diamond Crown Maximus cigars and $5,000 donations in his name to the Miracle League of St. Petersburg, Florida and the University of South Florida Latino scholarship program.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: Ortiz will play at Yankee Stadium for the final time during a three-game series against New York that starts Tuesday night. "Playing baseball in New York is something that is very special," Ortiz said. LHP David Price (17-8) will start for the Red Sox Tuesday night.

Rays: LHP Drew Smyly (7-11) will face White Sox RHP James Shields (3-11) Monday night in the first of four games in Chicago.

© 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.