MLB: Red Sox's Crawford, Dice-K return to game action in Fort Myers

Boston Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford lines out to centerfield in his extended spring training debut against the Baltimore Orioles at JetBlue Park on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Scott Butherus/Staff

Photo by SCOTT BUTHERUS // Buy this photo

Boston Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford lines out to centerfield in his extended spring training debut against the Baltimore Orioles at JetBlue Park on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Scott Butherus/Staff

Boston Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka  throws in the first inning in his extended spring training debut against the Baltimore Orioles at JetBlue Park on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Scott Butherus/Staff

Photo by SCOTT BUTHERUS // Buy this photo

Boston Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka throws in the first inning in his extended spring training debut against the Baltimore Orioles at JetBlue Park on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Scott Butherus/Staff

— 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.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features