Boston, MA, United States (4E Sports) – Boston Red Sox Left fielder Carl Crawford singled in his first at-bat and scored in his season debut Monday against the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park.
Batting second, Crawford sent Dylan Axelrod’s 1-2 pitch to center in his first plate appearance then later tied the game at one when he was driven home by Adrian Gonzalez’s single. He lined out to right in his second at-bat.
Crawford missed the first 89 games of the season with wrist and elbow injuries. He underwent wrist surgery in January then sprained the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow during spring training.
Crawford was a disappointment in his first season with the Rex Sox after he signed a seven-year, $142 million contract as a free agent last year.
He hit .255 with 11 homers, 129 hits and 56 RBIs last season, far from his performance with the Tampa Bay Rays the year before where he averaged .307 with 19 homers, 184 hits and 90 runs driven in.
Unlike his first year with the Red Sox, Crawford said in a pre-game interview that he will not put pressure on himself this season.
“I’ll try not to put pressure on myself like I did last year,” Crawford said. “I’ll try to relax a little bit more. I understand what I need to do, understand what my game is and how I can help the team out and stick to that.”
“Last year I think I lost a lot of confidence in myself,” he said. “This year I was able to get that back. You just kind of put that stuff behind you, go out there and have confidence in yourself, believe in yourself. That’s pretty much it.”
To make room for Crawford, the Red Sox designated utility man Brent Lillibridge for assignment.