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Crawford strains hamstring

Sox left fielder Carl Crawford (13) is the focus of concern after beating out a first-inning single and coming up lame. Sox left fielder Carl Crawford (13) is the focus of concern after beating out a first-inning single and coming up lame. (Barry Chin/Globe Staff)
By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / June 18, 2011

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On a day that began with news that shortstop Jed Lowrie was being placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Red Sox with a shoulder injury, it appeared he might be joined by left fielder Carl Crawford.

Crawford was forced to leave last night’s series opener against the Brewers in the bottom of the first inning because of a strained left hamstring, suffered while legging out an infield single to third.

“He got an MRI during the game,’’ said manager Terry Francona. “He’s got a Grade-1 hamstring, and we certainly need to reevaluate that and see what we’ll do.’’

Francona indicated it was the least severe of hamstring strains.

After Crawford was called safe by umpire Phil Cuzzi, he immediately pulled up, prompting Francona and trainer Mike Reinold to emerge from the dugout. After a brief consultation, Crawford departed.

“I know [I felt] it somewhere when I was approaching the bag,’’ said Crawford. “I’m not sure when it actually happened.’’

Francona didn’t hesitate to pull his left fielder.

“He needed to come out,’’ the manager said.

“I think they’re just going to see how I feel tomorrow and go from there,’’ Crawford said.

That came on the heels of Lowrie being sent to the DL. The shortstop felt his left shoulder pop out of its socket while taking a swing in the first inning of Thursday night’s 4-2 win over the Rays.

“I’m always going to be optimistic,’’ said Lowrie, when asked about the prospect of surgery. “We’re just going to give it some time and try to sort this out.’’

Lowrie said the injury stemmed from an aggravation of a previous injury to the shoulder when he collided with Crawford in left field May 29 at Comerica Park in Detroit.

“It hasn’t really felt right since then and I’m assuming that’s what it’s from,’’ Lowrie said.

Lowrie underwent an MRI yesterday morning, which, Francona said, “was actually pretty good.’’

“Structurally, it didn’t look like there was any significant damage,’’ Francona said. “I think any time you look at any player’s shoulder, you’re going to see some things going on.’’

Francona indicated the team would have Lowrie’s MRI results sent to Dr. Lewis Yocum as a precaution.

“We’ll give him some rest and treatment and see how quickly we can progress with him,’’ Francona said. “Regardless of what we found, when you take a swing like that and it hurts like that, we better slow him down a little bit.’’

Drew Sutton was called up from Pawtucket to fill Lowrie’s roster spot, and entered the game in the fifth as a defensive replacement for third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who departed with a stomach illness. Sutton went 2 for 3 with a double.

Appealing decision Jonathan Papelbon’s suspension for bumping home plate umpire Tony Randazzo June 4 was reduced from three games to two by Major League Baseball.

“There’s always got to be a process,’’ said Papelbon, who began serving the suspension last night. “I think the process was done very well and very fair for both sides. Like I said when this thing first happened, I have to own up to it, and I did.’’

Papelbon was pleased that the bumping of Randazzo was viewed as incidental.

“Major League Baseball looked at the videotape and they came back and sided with the fact that we can agree with him and we’re giving him two games,’’ said Papelbon. “I asked for two games. They looked at the videotape and I guess decided that two games was fair for me to accept.’’

Buchholz bumped back Francona said Clay Buchholz’s next start would be pushed back to allow back stiffness to subside. The righthander was lifted after five innings and 81 pitches Thursday night.

“We had those two long innings and it was that time sitting down and not really moving around,’’ Buchholz said. “It’s been there just about all season and I didn’t expect it to be there not at all.

“Some games you go in there and it’s something you can tolerate. And [Thursday] night I felt like I was having to manipulate my delivery for it not to hurt and that’s something you don’t want to do, especially pitching to a team like that.’’

Buchholz, who picked up the win over the Rays, was encouraged he was able to perform some stretches yesterday he wasn’t able to Thursday night.

“We’ve given it a little time to settle down overnight and did some stuff on it today, and take it easy for a couple of days and take it from there,’’ he said.

Buchholz, who does not have a timetable for his next start, hoped the extra rest and treatment would work.

“That’s how I’m going to approach it for now,’’ he said. “Hopefully, it’ll loosen up a little bit.’’

Draft picks in fold The Sox announced the signing of 12 draft picks, including lefthander Miguel Pena, a sixth-round selection out of San Jacinto (Texas) Junior College, and first baseman Travis Shaw, a ninth-rounder out of Kent State. Among the local signees: Stonehill College righthander Brenden Shepard, of Boxford (28th round); and Keene State righthander Corey Vogt (39th round); and University of Massachusetts third baseman Matt Gedman, a 45th-round pick and son of former Sox catcher Rich Gedman. The other signees: LHP Kevin Brahney (11th round), RHP Mike McCarthy (14th), RHP Andrew Jones (18th), OF Drew Turocy (24th), 1B David Chester (33d), C Carlos Coste (35th) and RHP Jadd Schmeltzer (49th) . . . When Francona showed up for his pregame news conference wearing a Marc Savard Bruins sweater, it appeared the manager had succumbed to hockey fever after the Bruins captured the Stanley Cup. Not quite. “I just think it’s cool they won,’’ said Francona, who left a congratulatory message for Bruins coach Claude Julien.

Globe correspondent Nicole Auerbach contributed to this report. Michael Vega can be reached at vega@globe.com.

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