By Sean McAdam
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Sensing that Carl Crawford was pressing a little too much in his first week with the Red Sox, Terry Francona dropped the outfielder from third in the batting order to seventh Sunday.
"Looking at him, it's kind of obvious he's trying too hard,'' said Francona. "Especially with a lefty (Texas starter Matt Harrison) going today, we'll just kind of let him sit down there (in the order). As soon as he gets on base, the real Carl will come out. In the meantime, we'll take a little heat off him.
"He's a great kid; he's just trying too hard. I think it's an admirable quality. But we're two games in and he's not had real good at-bats. I just want to let him relax a little bit and play.''
Crawford wasn't the only change in the order. Francona also sat J.D. Drew with Darnell McDonald playing in right field and Jed Lowrie playing short over Marco Scutaro.
"I think Mac matches up good against (Harrison) and then we've got J.D. sitting over there if we get into the bullpen,'' said Francona. "And Jed (a switch-hitter), especially right-handed, I wanted to get him in a game.''
With McDonald and Lowrie in the lineup, Jason Varitek is the only position player to not be in the starting lineup or make an appearance.
Sunday's starter Clay Buchholz was 8-3 in 13 starts following a Red Sox defeat in 2010... David Ortiz is the first Red Sox hitter to homer in each of the first two games of a season since Mike Greenwell homered in each of Boston's first three games in 1989...Ortiz's homer Saturday night was No. 351 of his career, moving him past Pawtucket hitting coach Chili Davis into a tie for 80th all time, tying him with Dick Allen.
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Dustin Pedroia is out of the lineup again tonight after leaving the Red Sox game Thursday night with knee pain in the fifth inning.
Josh Rutledge will start at second base as the Sox open a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park.
The weather and sloppy field conditions were a factor in John Farrell deciding to get Pedroia out of the game Thursday and conditions haven’t improved significantly Friday.
Pedroia (.288, two homers, 21 RBI) had surgery on that knee in October. It's the same leg that was hurt when Manny Machado slid into Pedroia at second base in April, the slide that sparked the plunking war between the Orioles and Red Sox.
The full lineups:
Jean Segura SS
Guillermo Heredia CF
Robinson Canó 2B
Nelson Cruz DH
Kyle Seager 3B
Danny Valencia 1B
Taylor Motter LF
Ben Gamel RF
Mike Zunino C
Yovanni Gallardo RHP
Mookie Betts RF
Andrew Benintendi LF
Xander Bogaerts SS
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Josh Rutledge 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr CF
Christian Vazquez C
Deven Marrero 3B
Eduardo Rodriguez LHP
BOSTON — Red Sox left-hander David Price is set to make his season debut in a holiday matinee Monday on the road in Chicago against the White Sox.
Price, 31, starting the second season of a $217 million, seven-year contract, has been recovering from a strained pitching elbow since spring training.
“Excited, just to be back here,” he said Thursday. “There’s not a better feeling. You can’t replicate it anywhere else.”
Price allowed nine runs — six earned — and 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings in a pair of less-than-impressive injury rehabilitation starts at Triple-A Pawtucket. He struck out eight and walked two.
“A lot of pitches, in a short amount of time. I think that is more of a test to being healthy as opposed to going out there and throwing five or six [innings] in 90 pitches,” he said. “To do what I did in both of my rehab outings, I don’t think you can do that if you’re not healthy.”
The Red Sox (24-21) have won four in a row heading into their weekend series against the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park.
“He’s eager to get back to us and physically he feels great,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “His return to us will give us a definite boost but that’s not to de-emphasize he needs to go out and perform.”
Farrell hopes Price’s return has a trickle-down impact.
“It’s not based solely on the name on the back of his jersey,” Farrell said. “Hopefully it allows us to even out some of the performances within the rotation.”
© 2017 by The Associated Press.