SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) - Carl Crawford got right into the swing for the Boston Red Sox.
Crawford had his first two hits in a Boston uniform as a Red Sox split squad and the Baltimore Orioles played 10 innings Saturday before calling it a 4-4 tie.
The Red Sox newcomer was hitless in his first nine at_bats this spring. He had singles in the first and fifth innings and left the game after walking in the seventh.
The All-Star outfielder caught four balls in his last three innings, including a nice, running grab on Luke Scott's fly with two runners on in the third.
``Physically, I don't feel I can get any stronger,' Crawford said. ``It's just a matter of me working on my baseball skills.'
Besides his hits and defensive play, Crawford also struck catcher Matt Wieters with a backswing in the fifth, causing manager Buck Showalter a moment of worry.
``He told Crawford: 'You hit me, now you can't run,'' Showalter joked after the game.
Baltimore's Jake Fox tied it at 4 in the bottom of the ninth with his third home run of the spring.
Jacoby Ellsbury and Crawford were the only recognizable Boston names to make the trip. Most of the regulars stayed behind in Fort Myers for their split-squad game against Florida.
That put no pressure on Crawford, who said his hitless streak didn't bother him.
``I was starting to get worried,' he cracked. ``Usually you're kind of feeling out things, getting back into baseball shape, trying to figure out how your swing is going to be.'
Crawford's first hit came against Brad Bergesen, who allowed three runs in three innings. During the regular season, Crawford is 4 for 8 against Bergesen, but familiarity is irrelevant during spring training, he said.
``This time of year, everybody seems kind of tough,' Crawford said.
Bergesen had a tougher time in his second spring outing than he did in his first when he allowed one hit in two innings against Pittsburgh on Monday.
``It's really about getting our work in, getting our innings up. What it came down to today is pitch selections. I just threw away, away, away. They just started looking for it,' Bergesen said.
Boston rookie second baseman Oscar Tejada drove in three runs for the second straight game.
NOTES: Orioles LHP Brian Matusz said he felt fine after throwing before the game, one day after having a wart removed from the middle finger of his left hand. He said he should be able to pitch on Tuesday. ... Baltimore RHP Justin Duchscherer threw live batting practice for the first time since injuring his left hip a week ago. If he feels fine on Sunday, Showalter said he would also pitch on Tuesday against Philadelphia. ... Baltimore rookie 1B Joe Mahoney was 3 for 3. ... Ellsbury was 0 for 3 with a walk. ... The game drew 8,229, a record for baseball in Sarasota.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved