PAWTUCKET -- After going 2-for-3 with a run scored and handling one fly ball cleanly, Carl Crawford admitted that he is feeling the pressure to return to the Red Sox lineup. Crawford confirmed after Thursday's game with Triple-A Pawtucket that he is on schedule for a return to the big league club on Monday at Fenway if everything goes well in his next two games Friday and Saturday.
Crawford was asked why he is returning on Monday.
"Probably because I feel the pressure of everybody wanting me to be out there," he answered. "I want to be out there, fans want me to be out there, management, everybody, kind of a mixture of all that."
Crawford played just five innings on Thursday but is expected to play full games against Buffalo on Friday and Saturday at McCoy Stadium.
"So, I figure try to get as many at-bats in," Crawford said. "[Monday] was the fastest time we could think of."
Crawford is trying to test his left elbow, which he said Thursday gave him no problems in the field or at the plate when he swung the bat.
"If I feel like I can go out there and contribute and help the team, really help the team, then I'll make a decision that I can be out there. That's the day we picked, whether I'm ready or not. I'll be out there, hopefully."