Carl Crawford Batting Second, Playing Left Field in Return to Red Sox Lineup

Carl Crawford Batting Second, Playing Left Field in Return to Red Sox LineupCarl Crawford is back in Boston, and he'll be thrown right into the fire in his first game with the Red Sox this season.

Crawford will hit second and play left field against the White Sox in his 2012 debut with the Sox.

Elbow, wrist and groin injuries have kept Crawford out of the big leagues this season, but after an arduous rehab process, he's ready to — sort of. Crawford told reporters last week in Pawtucket that he may not be 100 percent just yet, but he's feeling the pressure to return to the club.

The four-time All-Star hit just .255 with 11 home runs and 56 RBIs in 130 games in his first season in Boston. He also only stole 18 bases after averaging 50 swipes per season in his first eight full seasons in the bigs, all with Tampa Bay.

Crawford will get his first look at Dylan Axelrod. The right-hander has never started a game against the Red Sox, but does have one career appearance versus Boston, working 2 1/3 innings of relief on April 27.

Kevin Youkilis will hit second and play third base for the White Sox in his first return to Fenway Park since being traded to Chicago last month.

Aaron Cook will start the opener for the Red Sox.

Here are the lineups for the first of four between the two teams.

Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Carl Crawford, LF
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Cody Ross, RF
Jarrod Saltalalmacchia, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Mike Aviles, SS
Pedro Ciriaco, 2B

White Sox
Alejandro De Aza, CF
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Adam Dunn, DH
Paul Konerko, 1B
Alex Rios, RF
A.J. Pierzysnki, C
Dayan Viciedo, LF
Alexei Ramirez, SS
Gordon Beckham, 2B 

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