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FORT MYERS — The Boston Red Sox got some encouraging news on Tuesday as left fielder Carl Crawford and starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka made their first appearances in an extended spring training game against the visiting Baltimore Orioles squad at JetBlue Park at Fenway South.
Understandably, both players showed some rust in their debut.
Crawford, who has been rehabbing his surgically repaired wrist since January, went 0-for-3 with a walk but showed signs that his wrist is close to being healthy. In his first at-bat, Crawford launched a 3-1 fastball to the deepest part of the ballpark in left-center that was hauled in on the warning track. After a walk in his final at-bat, Crawford attempted to swipe second base but was thrown out.
Crawford was the designated hitter because a lingering pain in his elbow has limited his ability to make long throws. Although no official timetable has been set for his return, manager Bobby Valentine said in the final week of spring training that Crawford would need at least 50 at-bats in a game setting before returning to the major-league club.
Crawford was unavailable for comment following the game.
Matsuzaka, who continues his way back after Tommy John surgery last season, had a solid beginning to his day before running into trouble. The right-hander threw 3 2/3 innings, allowing two hits — both doubles — and a walk while striking out five. He did not allow a run, however, the fourth inning ended with two men on base because Matsuzaka had reached his pitch count for the day.
According to one scout’s radar gun, Matsuzaka’s fastball was routinely in the 86-88 mph range.
“Good. I felt good,” Matsuzaka said.