Notes: Crawford's return gets mixed reaction


Notes: Crawford's return gets mixed reaction

By SeanMcAdam Red SoxInsider Follow @sean_mcadam
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Carl Crawford's return wasn't exactly triumphant. But at least it's over with.

Returning to Tropicana Field for the first time since leaving as a free agent last December, Crawford was hitless (0-for-3) against his former team.

After the Red Sox' 4-0 loss to Tampa Bay, Crawford seemed relieved it's all behind him.

"There was a few cheers, a few boos -- I guess it was mixed emotions out there,'' said Crawford.

Indeed, when he came to the plate in the first inning, a smattering of boos mixed with cheers. Some fans stood in appreciation. Others clapped politely. Some razzed him.

"I didn't look too much (at people giving him a standing ovation),'' he said. "I was trying to focus on the game. To the people that cheered, I appreciate it.''

The outfielder said he heard some jeers while in the outfield, but nothing much different from what he's heard in other spots, including Anaheim and New York.

Crawford had been asked about what sort of reception he was going to get for the last week. Now, he can just concentrate on playing.

"It's nice to get it out of the way,'' he said. "I got a chance to see everybody today. The fans who didn't like me got a chance to do what they wanted to do.

"Tomorrow, I'm just going to try to make feel as normal as possible. Today, I can't lie, it didn't feel like it was a normal game for me.''

Tim Wakefield pitched well enough to win. Problem was, he didn't pitch as well as James Shields.

Wakefield allowed just two runs -- one of them unearned -- over seven innings and absorbed his first loss since May 6.

"I had only had two balls that were hard hit,'' said Wakefield. "The double Johnny Damon hit in the third and the homer by Justin Ruggiano in the fifth. Obviously, the difference in the game was the homer.

"We got outpitched.''

The 119 pitches Wakefield threw were the most he's had in an outing since Sept 8, 2003 -- also, against the Rays.

The knuckler got a lot of mishits for Wakefield, who gave up just one hit -- the homer -- after the first three innings.

The only other run off him came in the sixth when two walks, a fielder's choice and a passed ball by Jarrod Saltalamacchia resulted in the second run charged to him.

"The knuckleball got better as the game went on,'' he said. "I had a hard time throwing it for strikes. But for the most part, I felt very good out there tonight. It was just one of those games where . . . it happens.''

As expected, outfielder Darnell McDonald rejoined the the Red Sox here and was activated.

Drew Sutton was optioned back to Pawtucket to make room for McDonald's return.

"He played 11 games down there,'' said Francona. "Through no fault of his own, he hadn't played much with Boston. Cameron got a lot of those starts when the Red Sox sat J.D. Drew against lefties, so the second righty wasn't playing much. Mac got some at-bats at Pawtucket and that will probably end up being pretty good for him.''

Lefty reliever Franklin Morales pitched Monday night for Pawtucket as part of his rehab assignment, but was erratic with his control (two walks and a hit batsman) and will remain with the Pawsox for at least one -- and likely more -- appearances.

"He'll take two days off,'' said Francona, "and then try to get out to about 30 pitches. We'll let him get extented a little bit and use all of his pitches.

"I think he's rusty. I don't think he's quite letting it go yet. He had no pain or anything like that. But he's not quite letting it go like we'd like.''

Bobby Jenks (back spasms) threw from a distance of 90 feet Tuesday on flat ground with what Francona termed "decent intensity.''

Jenks has been cleared to do whatever he can physically tolerate.

"Hopefully,'' said Francona, "he'll continue to progress forward.''

Jed Lowrie was out of the lineup with Marco Scutaro at short. Lowrie continues to feel some discomfort in his left shoulder and was out of the lineup in the series finale in Toronto Sunday.

Coupled with Monday's off-day, this will give Lowrie three straight days off, "which I don't think can hurt him at all,'' said Francona.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Moreland homers again, Red Sox tag A's to avoid four-game sweep

Moreland homers again, Red Sox tag A's to avoid four-game sweep

OAKLAND, Calif. - A five-run ninth inning for the Red Sox that lasted more than a half-hour derailed any chance Eduardo Rodriguez had of getting his first career complete game.

Not that the left-hander was complaining.

After a bitter loss to Oakland a year ago when he allowed just one hit over eight innings, Rodriguez was more than happy with the way things turned out.

Rodriguez earned his second straight win, Mitch Moreland homered in his third consecutive game and Boston beat the Oakland Athletics 12-3 on Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.

"I wanted to go back out there but they hit the ball pretty good in that inning and I know I had to get out of the game," Rodriguez said about the long wait. "I'll take it because we score more runs, I have a chance to win. If every inning's like that, I'll get out of the game after five."

Rodriguez (3-1) allowed three runs over eight innings. He struck out eight, walked one and retired 14 of his final 15 batters.

"Where he was with the pitch count, it'd be nice for him to go out there for the ninth inning given where he was and how well he was throwing the baseball," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "But at that point you're up nine, probably about a 35-minute inning, didn't want to take any chances."

Hanley Ramirez and Christian Vazquez had three hits apiece to power a Red Sox lineup that tallied 15 hits. Every player in Boston's starting lineup had at least one hit, and eight of the nine drove in runs.

Chad Pinder homered and drove in two runs for Oakland.

Boston, which hasn't been swept in a four-game series since July 2015, trailed 3-2 before scoring 10 runs over the final five innings.

"It felt we had them on the run a little bit," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "They get the lead and then we come back and take the lead again and you feel pretty good. But they were pretty persistent today."

Pinder went deep in the fourth, his fourth home run in eight games and fifth overall.

The A's committed three errors, giving them a major league-leading 42.


Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts gave the A's trouble with his running and defense. Betts scored twice from first base and also made a pair of strong defensive plays. He made a sliding catch on Mark Canha's sinking liner in the eighth and then slammed into the wall after catching Khris' Davis fly to end the inning.

"This place during the daytime plays very difficult," Farrell said. "What Mookie was able to do a couple times in right field, those aren't easy plays. To be able to stay with it, go up against the wall a couple of times, we played very good outfield defense here today."


Red Sox: Brock Holt continues to deal with lingering symptoms from vertigo and isn't yet ready to come off the disabled list, according to Farrell. Likewise, Boston plans to keep third baseman Pablo Sandoval in the minors to get consistent at-bats while recovering from a right knee sprain. ... Farrell said LHP Drew Pomeranz, who took the loss Saturday, will start against Texas on Thursday.

Athletics: Yonder Alonso (sore left knee) sat out his fourth straight game but could be back in the lineup Tuesday when Oakland begins a two-game series against Miami. ... Sean Doolittle (strained left shoulder) threw on flat ground before making 15 pitches off the mound. The plan is for the former closer to throw 25 pitches on Wednesday. ... Melvin said the team has applied for an extension on Chris Bassitt's rehab assignment. Bassitt underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015.


Red Sox: Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello (2-5) faces Texas on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park. Porcello has lost three of his last four decisions.

Athletics: Following an off day, RHP Jesse Hahn (1-3) starts against Miami on Tuesday at the Coliseum. Hahn leads the majors in fewest home runs allowed per nine innings at 0.19.