ARLINGTON -- For the first time since his return from the disabled list, Carl Crawford batted seventh in manager Bobby Valentine's lineup instead of second.
Crawford was hitting .269 with no homers and one RBI in his first seven games of the season entering Tuesday.
Valentine said the motive behind the move was simply that the Red Sox were facing a lefty in Martin Perez.
"Put him in a place he was comfortable with last year and, you know, he has all of about 15 at-bats against left-handers this whole year," Valentine said. "Until he gets real comfortable with it, [I want to keep him lower]. I talked to Carl about it actually, and it seemed to make sense to him and it made sense to me. You know, rather than rush it, just let it come to us."
Crawford went 0-for-3 in the Red Sox's 2-1 win and has two hits in his last 19 at-bats.
In the bottom of the seventh, Daniel Nava replaced Crawford on defense, leading to speculation that perhaps he sustained an injury.
It turns out that Valentine was just making a defensive maneuver because Crawford's left elbow -- he was diagnosed with a UCL sprain in April -- is far from 100 percent.
"We were just playing defense," said Valentine. "I'm not going to test that arm in a 1-1 game where he's going to have to make a throw out of his shoes -- not until he's feeling good about it."
As for Crawford's spot in the batting order, it became a sensitive subject last season.
It was actually in Texas when former Red Sox manager Terry Francona moved Crawford from third to seventh in just the third game of the season. For the rest of 2011, Crawford went up and down in the lineup as he had the worst season of his career.
The left fielder downplayed the move for Tuesday's game against the Rangers.
"No thoughts. It's time to go play at 7 o'clock," Crawford said. "Yeah, he talked to me about it. I am where I'm at. At 7 o'clock, that's when I'm going to go play. That's pretty much it."
Valentine felt that he's had several good conversations with Crawford about lineup placement, even dating back to Spring Training.
"We've talked about it," Valentine said. "He doesn't seem to be as sensitive talking to me about it. Matter of fact, we had a plan in Spring Training where it was [presented that] he was even going to possibly hit some first. I think we talked about that in Spring Training, didn't we? There was all this talk about him never wanting to hit first, and that didn't seem to be the case at all. It's tough experimenting in July, but we'll do it."
While Crawford moved down, Pedro Ciriaco batted second and served as the designated hitter. Kelly Shoppach started behind the plate, which has most often been the case against lefties this season.
Red Sox gear up to face Ichiro with Yanks
ARINGTON -- Given the way the Red Sox and Yankees have always been intertwined, it's probably only fitting that Ichiro Suzuki will make his home debut at Yankee Stadium against his new team's archrival.
Yes, Ichiro and the Yankees will host the Red Sox, beginning on Friday.
Valentine has known Ichiro a long time, having managed against him in Japan back in 1995.
"At the time, I told our front office, I thought he was one of the top 10 players in the world," Valentine said. "I turned out to be wrong at the time. He was like top five."
And yes, Valentine thinks Ichiro's presence will benefit the Yankees.
"Well, you know, he's one of the great players that have ever played the game, and they like to have great players," Valentine said. "It seems like he fits in quite nicely there. He'll play good defense. He'll get big hits. He stole a base last night, huh? We'll pitch him tough."
Though Dustin Pedroia certainly doesn't want to see the Yankees get any better, he seemed intrigue by the fact one of the biggest names in the game went to a marquee team.
"It's going to look weird [seeing him] in that uniform," Pedroia said. "It stinks we play him in a couple days, but yeah, that's pretty cool."
Lillibridge traded to Indians for pitching prospect
ARLINGTON -- Eight days after the Red Sox designated utility man Brett Lillibridge for assignment, they found a new home for him, trading him to the Cleveland Indians for Minor League righty Jose De La Torre.
Lillibridge was one of the players the Red Sox acquired in the deal that sent Kevin Youkilis to the White Sox, but there wasn't much playing time for him in Boston.
The Red Sox assigned De La Torre to Triple-A Pawtucket.
This season, the 26-year-old De La Torre is 8-1 with two saves and a 2.91 ERA in 34 games at Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus.