PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Carl Crawford may not have been ecstatic after playing in a rehab game on Friday night for the Pawtucket Red Sox against the Durham Bulls.
But he was close.
Crawford played five innings in left field and batted third, going 1-for-2 with an RBI.
Most importantly, he was able to do the things he normally does, instead of walking off the McCoy Stadium turf with a frown on his face.
"The most important thing was being able to break out of the box like I normally can ... to be able to move quickly without worrying about my hamstring," Crawford said after the first of his two scheduled rehab games. "I had a few moments tonight where I was able to test it."
One of those moments occurred in the third, when Crawford drew a one-out walk from Lance Cormier and Ryan Lavarnway followed with a hit-and-run single to left field.
"That felt good. That was a time when I had a chance to test it. I also had a chance to test it in the outfield," said Crawford, who ranged far to his right and caught a fly ball off the bat of J.J. Furmaniak. "That also felt good.
"I had to do some stopping and starting. When you stop real quick and nothing happens, that's a good sign."
Crawford came to bat in the first against left-hander Alex Torres, with PawSox players on first and third and no outs, and dumped a broken-bat RBI single into center field.
Crawford also came up in the fifth, which Daniel Nava had led off with a single. Crawford hit a sharp grounder in the hole between third and short, which resulted in Nava being forced -- barely -- on a throw by shortstop Ray Olmedo.
Crawford was placed on Boston's disabled list on June 18 after straining his left hamstring muscle the previous day while trying to beat out an infield hit against Milwaukee.
Making the injury even more frustrating for Crawford was the fact that, after a frigid first month-and-a-half of the season, he had finally been heating up at the plate.
In the 21 games prior to injuring his hamstring, Crawford hit .316 with four home runs and 17 RBIs.
"Just to get injured, period -- I don't care what time it is -- can be very disappointing," Crawford said. "I wasn't happy about it, and definitely wish it hadn't happened."
The initial prognosis lent hope that Crawford would again be wearing a Boston uniform sooner than has proven to be the case. Understandably, that's done little for his morale.
"It's been a little disappointing because, obviously, I didn't want to be out this long," Crawford said. "But I'm doing everything the right way and making sure when I do get back on the field, it doesn't happen again.
"I've been real cautious with everything."
Cautious is the appropriate adjective to use when discussing why Crawford only played five innings on Friday, instead of nine.
"We're just trying to get my legs back under me right now," Crawford said. "We didn't see the need to play nine innings. As long as I was able to do a few things that I can do when I'm in the big leagues, we thought that's all I need to do."
That plan should change on Saturday when Crawford plays his second rehab game for Pawtucket.
"I want to try and do everything two days in a row to make sure there isn't any pain," Crawford said. "After that happens, I'll be ready to go.
"This is the first time I've had a hamstring injury, so I definitely want to be careful with how I treat it. Unless something really bad happens in the morning, I hope to play nine innings."
If Crawford emerges from his rehab assignment unscathed, he's scheduled to join the Red Sox on Monday in Baltimore.
"Getting out here and seeing live pitching definitely helped me," Crawford said. "It was all about the timing. You had a lefty throwing pretty hard. I tried to see a few [pitches] and make the adjustments I needed to make from there."
Mike Scandura is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.