Red Sox notes: Crawford suffers hamstring strain


Red Sox notes: Crawford suffers hamstring strain

By Jessica Camerato Follow @JCameratoNBA

By Maureen Mullen Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON - Carl Crawford doesnt know exactly how he injured his hamstring, but now he will have to wait and see when he can play again.

Crawford left Fridays game against the Milwaukee Brewers in the first inning after coming up limping while running to first base. He left the game and received an MRI, which revealed a Grade 1 strain.

I hurt it a little bit, so its a little sore right now, he said after the Red Sox 10-4 win.

Terry Francona said the team will meet with Crawford, trainers, and personnel to reevaluate his situation. In the meantime, Crawford will follow the prescribed treatment and stay optimistic for further evaluation on Saturday.

Ice it a few times and Ive got to wear this thing around my thigh tonight, he explained. And hopefully thatll make it feel better tomorrow.

John Lackey went eight innings, tying his longest outing of the season, and picked up his fifth win of the year. He improved to 3-0 since returning from the disabled list (right elbow sprain) on June 5.

Its a lot better, Lackey (5-5, 7.02 ERA) said. I just think everythings a little firmer, a little crisper for sure. Arm feels a lot better.

Despite giving up four earned runs in the first three innings, Lackey settled in for the next five and wrapped up his night with five strikeouts. He did not walk a single batter and threw a season-high 81 strikes.

Terry Francona was impressed with Lackeys performance.

I thought today was the best stuff he had, said Francona. I was really, really pleased. I know he gave up four runs early, but the ball was crisp. I thought he was getting extension and as the game progressed, he was down and he had a change in speeds. I thought he was good.

The victory marked Lackeys longest winning streak in consecutive starts with the Red Sox.

Injuries forced not only Crawford, but also Kevin Youkilis out of the game. Youkilis left in the top of the fifth inning due to stomach illness. Reserves Darnell McDonald and Drew Sutton stepped in for the starters, and stepped up to the task.

Both players had recently been recalled from Triple-A and made the most of their opportunities on Friday. McDonald recorded a run and an RBI while Sutton went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored.

Thats the good thing about this team, said Jacoby Ellsbury. Weve got guys that can come in and do a tremendous job.

The Red Sox have outscored their opponents, 100-46, in their last 13 games. They are 12-1 during that stretch.

Adrian Gonzalez (3-4, 3R) has reached base in 17 straight games and is batting .415 (27-for-65) in that span.

Ellsbury hit his fifth leadoff home run of his career and second of the season on Friday. He has already hit eight home runs this season, one short of his career-high set in 2008.

As a reminder, the start of Saturdays game has been moved to 7:10 p.m.

Left-hander Andrew Miller will be called up fromPawtucket to pitch against the Padres Monday at Fenway Park. Miller,who has started one game at Fenway in his career, is 1-1 in two careerstarts against the Padres, pitching a combined 11 innings, giving upsix runs on 10 hits and six walks with nine strikeouts.

The Sox dont need to make a roster move until Miller is called up Monday.

Shortstop Jed Lowrie was placed on the disabled list, with Drew Sutton getting called back from Pawtucket.

Jedgot an MRI this morning and actually the MRI was pretty good, Franconasaid. Structurally it didn't look like there was any significantdamage, which is really good. I think any time you look at a playersshoulder youre going to see somethings going on. So were going tohave the MRIs sent to Dr. Lewis Yocum as kind of a backup. Let himlook, also. And give him some rest and treatment and see how quickly wecan progress with him. Regardless of what we found, when you take aswing like that and it hurts like that we better slow him down a littlebit.

Its a strain. He had the bruising back there and then youget some weakness because of it. I think thats probably why he feltthere was either a mild subluxation or maybe not, but that was thefeeling. You get swelling, you get bruising and you lose strength. Soregardless of what we call it we need to get that thing stronger and todo that we need to let it settle down first and then get him on apretty good strength program so he can go out there and play and nothave a chance of that happening.

Clay Buchholz said his back, which caused him to leave his start Thursday in Tampa Bay after five innings, was feeling better.

"Today was the first day," he said. "It's going to be a day-to-day thing. If it was 40 percent last night, today it's 60 percent. So it's gotten better. That's definitely a good thing. At least we're moving forward, not moving back.

"I went in Friday and iced and stretched out a little bit, but didn't want to do anything too tough with it just for the fact that if it was that muscle spasm, didn't want to make it any worse.

"It's been a nagging thing. It happened last year. The adrenaline takes over when you get out there, but it's the days in between where you feel like you're not going to be able to go out there and compete. That's what sucks for anybody, whenever they know they want to go out there, they don't want to miss any starts, they don't want to be on the DL and have to deal with something nagging like this."

Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled for a check-up with Dr. Yocum, whoperformed his Tommy John surgery, on Monday and then travel to FortMyers to begin his rehab program.

The reason for that is thathe can get consistent, Francona said. Hes not seeing somebody uphere when were home and somebody when were on the road. So itll allbe consistent.

Rich Hill, who also had Tommy John surgery,will stay in the Boston area for his rehab. Hill, a native of Milton,Mass., said his new arm angle had nothing to do with his injury.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at!JCamerato

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945


NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945

CHICAGO -- Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton KershawAnthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration inside Wrigley Field, outside the ballpark and all over the city.

Seeking their first crown since 1908, manager Joe Maddon's team opens the World Series at Cleveland on Tuesday night. The Indians haven't won it all since 1948 - Cleveland and Cubs have the two longest title waits in the majors.

"This city deserves it so much," Rizzo said. "We got four more big ones to go, but we're going to enjoy this. We're going to the World Series. I can't even believe that."

All-everything Javier Baez and pitcher Jon Lester shared the NLCS MVP. Baez hit .318, drove in five runs and made several sharp plays at second base. Lester, a former World Series champion in Boston, was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers.

Deemed World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs topped the majors with 103 wins to win the NL Central, then beat the Giants and Dodgers in the playoffs.

The Cubs overcame a 2-1 deficit against the Dodgers and won their 17th pennant. They had not earned a World Series trip since winning a doubleheader opener 4-3 at Pittsburgh on Sept. 29, 1945, to clinch the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season.

The eternal "wait till next year" is over. No more dwelling on a history of failure - the future is now.

"We're too young. We don't care about it," star slugger Kris Bryant said. "We don't look into it. This is a new team, this is a completely different time of our lives. We're enjoying it and our work's just getting started."

Hendricks pitched two-hit ball for 7 1/3 innings. Chapman took over and closed with hitless relief, then threw both arms in the air as he was mobbed by teammates and coaches.

The crowd joined in, chanting and serenading their team.

"Chicago!" shouted popular backup catcher David Ross.

The Cubs shook off back-to-back shutout losses earlier in this series by pounding the Dodgers for 23 runs to win the final three games.

And they were in no way overwhelmed by the moment on Saturday, putting aside previous frustration.

In 1945, the Billy Goat Curse supposedly began when a tavern owner wasn't allowed to bring his goat to Wrigley. In 2003, the Cubs lost the final three games of the NLCS to Florida, punctuated with a Game 6 defeat when fan Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball.

Even as recently as 2012, the Cubs lost 101 times.

This time, no such ill luck.

Bryant had an RBI single and scored in a two-run first. Dexter Fowler added two hits, drove in a run and scored one.

Contreras led off the fourth with a homer. Rizzo continued his resurgence with a solo drive in the fifth.

That was plenty for Hendricks, the major league ERA leader.

Hendricks left to a standing ovation after Josh Reddick singled with one out in the eighth. The only other hit Hendricks allowed was a single by Andrew Toles on the game's first pitch.

Kershaw, dominant in Game 2 shutout, gave up five runs and seven hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He fell to 4-7 in the postseason.

The Dodgers haven't been to the World Series since winning in 1988.

Pitching on five days' rest, the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw 30 pitches in the first. Fowler led off with a double, and Bryant's single had the crowd shaking the 102-year-old ballpark.

They had more to cheer when left fielder Andrew Toles dropped Rizzo's fly, putting runners on second and third, and Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs added a run in the second when Addison Russell doubled to deep left and scored on a two-out single by Fowler.


Maddon benched slumping right fielder Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.

"Kershaw's pitching, so I wanted to get one more right-handed bat in the lineup, and also with Albert I don't feel like we're losing anything on defense," Maddon said. "I know Jason's a Gold Glover, but I think Albert, given an opportunity to play often enough would be considered a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder, too."

Heyward was 2 for 28 in the playoffs - 1 for 16 in the NLCS.


Kerry Wood, wearing a Ron Santo jersey, threw out the first pitch and actor Jim Belushi delivered the "Play Ball!" call before the game. Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder and actor John Cusack were also in attendance. And Bulls great Scottie Pippen led the seventh-inning stretch.