Red Sox sit Crawford in Game 1 with stiff neck

BOSTON — Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford was a late scratch from Game 1 of Monday’s doubleheader against the Orioles with a stiff neck.

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The Red Sox lost, 6-5.

“He took a swing, the very first swing he took down the cage and his neck just spasmed up,” manager Terry Francona said of Crawford. “He tried to loosen it up and went about his normal day. It just wasn’t happening. It was getting worse.”

As for Crawford’s availability for Game 2, Francona said, “I don’t know, we’ll see.”

It was the second consecutive game Crawford did not start. On Sunday, the Sox started Conor Jackson instead of Crawford in left because of Crawford’s struggles against Tampa Bay starter David Price. Crawford did enter the game later as a pinch hitter and doubled.

Kevin Youkilis was also not in Boston’s lineup Monday as he continues to battle hip bursitis and a sports hernia.

Darnell McDonald took Crawford’s place in left field Monday and batted ninth for the Red Sox, who shuffled their lineup a bit with the late change. Crawford’s status for the nightcap is uncertain.

On Saturday, Crawford fell awkwardly after scoring on a close play at the plate because he did not slide, but it’s unknown if that is the cause of the stiff neck.

Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.

Follow Joe McDonald on Twitter: @espnJoeyMac

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