Crawford swinging hot bat despite pain in wrist

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Crawford swinging hot bat despite pain in wrist

CLEVELAND Carl Crawford has finally started looking the guy everybody thought was coming from Tampa Bay when Theo Epstein signed him to a megabucks contract.

Thats the good news.

The bad news is that Crawford contends that hes been playing through pain since he returned from the disabled list, and now his surgically repaired wrist is beginning to give him issues again. Crawford smacked three doubles, scored two runs and knocked in three runs in Bostons 14-1 demolishing of the Indians on Sunday afternoon, but he also exited the game in the top of the fifth inning due to the sore wrist.

Just over time using it when youre sliding or using it as the top hand in your swing when you try to hit the ball hard. Over time that makes it sore, said Crawford. If the game was close I definitely would have stayed in. I dont think its too much of a big deal.

Crawford said he had a cortisone shot five months ago in the left wrist, and perhaps the pain just meant he was due to have another injection. It clearly didnt affect his performance in the field just like a throwing elbow that needs Tommy John surgery hasnt negatively affected his quality of play.

After all its a guy thats hit .311 over his last 16 games with 13 extra base hits and 15 RBIs, and finally appears to be the top-of-the-order catalyst nestled between Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia in the batting order.

It is what it is. Ive been playing with pain the entire time that Ive been brought back, so its just one of those things where it was a little more sore today than it was on other days, said Crawford. The elbow is no secret. Today was the first day I had a wrist issue. It is what it is.

Sox manager Bobby Valentine said he hoped it was just a little thing, but warning bells and whistles do go off when its an area thats been surgically repaired.

His wrist was bothering him a little today and thats why he came out. Its a little thing . . . I hope. But I think hes just trying to be Carl Crawford, said Bobby Valentine. That was like a 2012 version of Carl Crawford.

Crawford sounded surprised that his manager was talking publicly about the issue.

He did? said Crawford. It was a little sore today. Maybe its a concern to him because he brought it up to you guys.

All of Crawfords aches and pains and the fact that he appears to still need major surgery on his elbow continue to push the question of when the Sox decide to officially call themselves out of the playoff race. At that point they could certainly pull the plug on Crawford and let him get a head start on next season, but the Sox dont appear to be there yet with two big divisional series against Baltimore and New York staring them in the face.

Quotes, notes, and stars: "No sign" of Ortiz slowing down

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Quotes, notes, and stars: "No sign" of Ortiz slowing down

Quotes, notes, and stars from the Red Sox' 4-2 win over the Yankees.

QUOTES:

* "He gathered himself and got a little rhythm as the night went along.'' - John Farrell on Henry Owens.

* "That's a rarity for Betances to leave his breaking ball up like he did. Once David saw it up, he attacked.'' - Farrell on David Ortiz's game-winning homer.

* "There's no sign of him slowing down. Tonight is a prime example of it. Key moment, big hit when we need it. There's a long resume there and it's continuing to build.'' - Farrell on Ortiz's ability to deliver in the clutch.

* "There were some mechanical adjustments that I made. I came out a little erratic, trying to do too much, maybe focusing too much. But as game went on, I kind of got into a rhythm.'' - Owens on his start.

* "I saw him throw a lot of breaking pitches to Mookie. The one they hit stayed up a little longer than usual. He's the kind of pitcher that, if you go up there looking for everything he's got, you're done.'' - Ortiz on his game-winning homer off Dellin Betances.

NOTES:

* Over his career, David Ortiz has hit 29 go-ahead homers from the eighth inning on.

* Ortiz has eight homers in his last 24 games against the Yankees.

* The win was the first this season for the Red Sox in a game in which they were tied or trailing after seven innings.

* The Red Sox have won five of their last six and seven of their last 10.

* The Yankees have been limited to three runs or fewer in their last six games.

* In 21 games, the Yankees have faced 10 lefty starters; in 22 games, the Red Sox have faced two.

* Masahiro Tanaka has issued just one walk in his last three starts.

STARS:

1) David Ortiz

With one swing of the bat, Ortiz untied a 2-2 game in the bottom of the eighth with a game-winning two-run homer.

2) Jackie Bradley Jr.

Bradley's penchant for delivering a big hit continued as he rapped a two-run double to left in the seventh to erase a 2-0 Yankee lead.

3) Masahiro Tanaka

He shut the Red Sox for six innings before allowing three hits and two runs in the seventh.

First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 win: Ortiz has flair for the dramatic

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First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 win: Ortiz has flair for the dramatic

First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 win over New York Yankees...

* David Ortiz still has a flair for the dramatic.

Matched against Yankees reliever Dellin Betances, Ortiz cracked a two-run homer into the Monster Seats to snap a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning. Ortiz now has 18 RBI in 23 games -- he didn't start in four of those games - and at 40, remains the one hitter opposing teams want to face with the game on the line.

Before the homer, Ortiz was 0-for-7 against Betances, with four strikeouts.

* All things considered, Henry Owens did OK.

Owens didn't fool anybody. He couldn't command his fastball, and when the Yankees did hit it, they hit it pretty hard. He walked three and hit another. But Owens managed to limit the damage in a big way, allowing just two hits in six innings despite 10 baserunners.

Occasionally, he would get bailed out by his changeup, which seems to be the lone pitch he has that is better than average by major league standards.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. continues to hit when it counts.

Bradley got the Red Sox offense going with a two-run, two-out double off Masahiro Tanaka, when the Sox were down to their final seven outs.

In the last week along, Bradley hit an extra-inning homer; a solo homer that represented the only run of the game; a ninth-inning triple; and Friday's big two-base hit.

That he has 10 RBI from the bottom of the order suggests he can provide some sock from that spot.

* Matt Barnes continues to make strides.

Since allowing a homer to Kevin Kiermaier on the last homestand, Barnes has allowed just one run in his last four appearances, covering 6 1/3 innings, while holding opposing hitters to a .208 batting average (5-for-24).

* The Yankees bullpen gets all the attention, but in relief of Owens, Barnes, Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel faced nine hitters and retired them all.