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Crawford comes out swinging

His 3-run HR first at Fenway as a Sox

Carl Crawford is greeted by David Ortiz after Crawford’s three-run homer in the second inning. Carl Crawford is greeted by David Ortiz after Crawford’s three-run homer in the second inning. (Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff)
By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / June 6, 2011

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Entering yesterday’s game against the A’s, Carl Crawford had hit four home runs this season. He had a pair at Progressive Field in Cleveland and one each at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., and Comerica Park in Detroit.

But he had yet to go yard at Fenway Park.

The last time he did so was when he was with the Rays and hit a pair vs. the Red Sox May 26, 2006. But Crawford had yet to experience what it was like to touch ’em all at Fenway as a member of the Sox.

Until, that is, his first at-bat yesterday against A’s starter Brett Anderson, when he took the lefthander’s first pitch into the Boston bullpen. The three-run blast in the second inning was a key blow in the Sox’ 6-3 victory before a crowd of 37,796.

“I was beginning to wonder,’’ Crawford said, smiling.

But he left no doubt against Anderson, who hit Crawford on the right hand in his next at-bat in the third inning.

“I don’t know if it was intentional, but I know we watch video and he doesn’t throw inside to lefties much,’’ said Crawford, who entered with a .200 career average vs. Anderson.

Crawford ripped off his helmet and appeared to make a move to the mound, but then jogged to first, but not before directing a few pointed remarks at Anderson. Asked what he said, Crawford replied, “I’ll just leave that on the field.’’

Asked if he thought Anderson intentionally tried to go up and in, Crawford said, “Oh, it’s the reaction . . . after you hit a home run off a guy. You know his tendencies and you know the guy doesn’t usually do that that often, so obviously thoughts are going to creep in your head.

“Did he do it intentionally? I don’t know. I just hope he doesn’t do that again.’’

Anderson entered having gone 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA in six career games vs. Boston.

“We had nobody with numbers against this guy,’’ Boston manager Terry Francona said. “He had kind of had his way against us.’’

Crawford had his own issues, having entered the game hitting .127 against lefties.

“I know I’ve been struggling against lefties this year and just trying to do everything I can to have better at-bats against them,’’ said Crawford, who has four of his five homers in the last 13 games, a span in which he has hit .388 with 10 extra-base hits.

“I’m just focusing hard and watching a little more video and doing little drills in the cage to simulate going against lefties,’’ he said.

Said Francona of Crawford’s homer, “The first pitch he saw, he rifled it. That was a great swing. And against a guy who has really been tough on us.’’

Crawford’s homer, which gave him three RBIs for the second game in a row, drove in David Ortiz and Jed Lowrie, each of whom singled.

“[Crawford] got us on the board early,’’ Francona said. “You score first and you score more than one, that’s a good formula for winning.’’

Another is when Carl Crawford is hitting homers at Fenway Park. Against lefties.

“One thing we know is that we’re going to face ’em every team we play now,’’ Crawford said. “They try so hard to put lefties against us all the time now, so you know you’re going to face ’em and you just try to get ready for ’em.’’

Michael Vega can be reached at vega@globe.com.

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