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Times wires

FORT MYERS - Red Sox LF and former Rays All-Star Carl Crawford was hitless in three at-bats, walked twice and scored a run Saturday in a rehabilitation start, his first game action in more than eight months.

Crawford, who had offseason wrist surgery and was later diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow, was the DH in a Gulf Coast League game between the Red Sox and Twins.

Crawford is expected to be on a rehabilitation assignment for about three weeks. After an off day today, he is set to return to the outfield Monday when the GCL Red Sox face the GCL Rays in Port Charlotte.

"You got to be patient and take time and do everything the right way," he said. "Things go well when you do that."

"Hitting is one of the hardest things to do in sports," said GCL Red Sox manager George Lombard, who was a teammate of Crawford's with Tampa Bay in 2003. "You've got to get your timing, your rhythm, and from there just get healthy. Baseball is the one sport that I joke around saying that it takes you three days to get out of shape and three weeks to get in shape in this game."

Crawford thought his day went fine and said his elbow felt good.

"I'd like to play as soon as possible and feel as good as soon I can so I can get into the (Red Sox) lineup as soon as I can," he said.

Crawford, 30, a four-time All-Star, has not played in a major-league game since the end of last season. He was a disappointment in his first season with Boston after signing a seven-year, $142 million contract, posting career worsts with a .255 average and a .289 on-base percentage and stealing 18 bases, his fewest since he had nine in 63 games as a rookie in 2002.

Meanwhile on the big-league team, INF Kevin Youkilis was benched for the third straight game amid rumors he was on the verge of being traded. The veteran wasn't happy about it, or with manager Bobby Valentine's claim that he had discussed the matter with the infielder.

"You want to play. I definitely want to play the game and enjoy it and have fun," Youkilis said. "I don't know my situation. To be honest, I was never told what's going on here; let's get that straight."

In other Red Sox news, RHP Clay Buchholz will be skipped from today's start against the Braves due to an illness.

MOYER RELEASED: The Orioles released LHP Jamie Moyer, 49, who requested the move after the team failed to promote him from the minors. Moyer started the season with the Rockies, where he became the oldest pitcher to win a major-league game.

ATHLETICS: LHP Brett Anderson threw off a mound for the first time since having elbow reconstructive elbow surgery in July. He reported no discomfort.

BREWERS: RHP Shaun Marcum went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 15 with tightness in his pitching elbow.

METS: 1B Ike Davis was removed from the lineup because of possible food poisoning. ... LF Jason Bay said his concussion symptoms seem to have cleared and he hopes to return around the All-Star break, reported. Bay was hurt June 15 when he ran into the wall chasing an inside-the-park home run by the Reds' Jay Bruce.

RANGERS: CF Craig Gentry left the game the fourth inning after aggravating his sore right ankle.

REDS: 1B Dan Driessen was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame along with 1B Sean Casey and 19th century player John Reilly. Driessen and Casey were honored on the field before the game against the Twins.

TWINS: C Joe Mauer was back in the lineup, but at first base, after missing four games with a bruised right thigh.