Carl Crawford exits with strained left hamstring

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8:15 p.m. EDT: The Red Sox confirmed that it was a strained left hamstring for Crawford.

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Carl Crawford left Friday’s game against the Brewers in the first inning with an apparent left hamstring injury sustained while beating out an infield single.

Crawford managed to reach first base ahead of Casey McGehee’s throw after hitting a chopper to third, but he came up lame immediately afterwards and he reached down to the hamstring area.  He limped off the field, accompained by Boston’s trainer, and was replaced by Darnell McDonald.

If the injury proves to be serious, the Red Sox will have lost two starters to the DL within 24 hours after shortstop Jed Lowrie was disabled earlier Friday.  Josh Reddick would likely be called up to share time with Mike Cameron and McDonald in left field.

Crawford is hitting .243/.276/.384 in 263 at-bats in his first season with the Red Sox.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.