Carl Crawford’s return to the Red Sox has been put on hold yet again.
His latest setback is a mild left groin strain that occurred Thursday night during an injury rehabilitation game for Double A Portland in Manchester, N.H.
Crawford hit a triple to the gap in right field and injured his groin as he turned second base, manager Bobby Valentine said. The Red Sox ended his rehab assignment on Friday.
Crawford cannot play in another minor league game for five days. Once his rehab assignment starts again, the 20-day clock begins anew.
“He’s going to get right back in and start hitting again soon in a game,” Valentine said. “It’s a little preventative thing to make sure it doesn’t get hurt.”
Crawford had surgery on his left wrist in January and was expected to be ready a week or two into the season. He made rapid progress during spring training but was shut down when his wrist became inflamed following some bunting drills.
When Crawford started back up, he suffered a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow and was shut down again. He started a minor league assignment June 23 and played eight games before becoming injured again.
Crawford said Friday that his elbow has not fully healed but he is throwing adequately. The danger is whether the ligament will tear and require Tommy John surgery.
“I think we have to manage that situation as he plays. Maybe it’s just a caution flag,” Valentine said.
Buchholz on tap
Clay Buchholz will start for Triple A Pawtucket Sunday afternoon against Syracuse at McCoy Stadium and is tentatively scheduled to face Tampa Bay next Saturday.
Buchholz has been on the disabled list since June 20 after a stomach ailment caused internal bleeding. The Red Sox want him to get one minor league start in — perhaps 40 pitches, Valentine said, — before returning.
“I’m feeling good,” Buchholz said. “It’ll be good to get on the mound and get the feel back.”
No big deal
Valentine seemed almost amused to hear about the lingering animosity between Vicente Padilla and Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira.
Padilla has hit Teixeira three times — intentionally, according to Teixeira. On Friday, after belting a two-run triple off Padilla, Teixeira said that the righthander should be suspended for his actions over the years. Padilla has hit one batter this season.
“He hasn’t been doing that this year. He’s got to get back to that, I think,” Valentine said with a chuckle.
Valentine wouldn’t bite at a question about Teixeira’s comments.
“I don’t know what his perspective is, so I won’t do a point/counterpoint,” he said. “I’ll just tell you what I’ve seen, [Padilla] has been a terrific teammate. He’s been a guy who’s taken the ball every day we’ve wanted him to. Other than yesterday and one other time, he’s been outstanding in leaving runners right where they were when he came into the game.
“I don’t want to deal with history. The present is tough enough for me.”
Quite a relief
In what was a no-win situation in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, righthander Justin Germano stood out in his Red Sox debut.
The righthander entered in the fourth inning with the Sox trailing, 6-0, and threw 5⅔ scoreless innings. He scattered five hits, walked two, and struck out seven.
The seven strikeouts were the most by a Sox reliever since Casey Fossum had seven on July 24, 2002 against the Rays. They were also the most in relief in the majors this season.
“You want to go out there and make good pitches and keep the score as close as you can,” Germano said. “You have to attack the zone and throw quality strikes. They’re a great hitting team. You have to mix it up as best you can.”
“I was trying to go as many as I can. I was glad I could finish it.”
Germano was 9-4 with a 2.40 ERA as a starter with Pawtucket.
“He did exactly what he was doing at Triple A. I’m glad that it translated here,” Valentine said. “Today’s game was very valuable in that he was the second pitcher and the last pitcher.”
The Red Sox activated Ryan Sweeney off the disabled list and started him in center field in the second game. He had an RBI triple and scored in the seventh inning. Sweeney had been out since June 17 with a stress fracture in his left big toe. Ryan Kalish was optioned to Pawtucket . . . Righthander Clayton Mortensen was called up as the 26th player for the doubleheader and pitched one-third of an inning in the nightcap . . . Third baseman Will Middlebrooks (left hamstring) did not appear in either game. There is a chance he could play Sunday. “Some of the madness in not DL’ing him was to have him ready coming out of the break and not miss those five games on the other side of the break,” Valentine said . . . Jacoby Ellsbury continued his rehab, making his first appearance with Pawtucket Saturday night at McCoy Stadium. He played center field and went 0 for 4 with a strikeout . . . Andrew Bailey, the father of a new baby girl, is back throwing and working to return to the mound. He was shut down with forearm tightness a few weeks ago. The closer has been out all season after undergoing thumb surgery . . . The Red Sox have used 44 players this season, five fewer than they used all last season . . . Franklin Morales picked off Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher in the third inning of the first game. It was the first time a Red Sox pitcher picked off two runners in the same inning since at least 1992, according to the team . . . Yankees catcher Russell Martin snapped an 0-for-30 slump in the second game. It was the longest skid by a Yankee since 2004 . . . Fenway Park has been added to the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service. Fenway is the only venue in use by a professional team on the Register.