Notes: Crawford hits seventh, McDonald & Lowrie start

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Notes: Crawford hits seventh, McDonald & Lowrie start

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

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.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

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.