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Sox can’t wait to showcase reliever Jesse Crain

Updated: July 23, 2013 11:58PM



Reliever Jesse Crain threw 33 pitches off a mound Tuesday in his first real test of the strained right shoulder that put him on the disabled list.

Crain, who threw fastballs and changeups, will throw again Thursday and is aiming to get into a game Sunday or Monday.

Time is of the essence with the non-waiver trade deadline looming next Wednesday. Crain, who was picked for the American League All-Star team but didn’t pitch because of the injury, will be eligible for free agency after the season, and the Sox hope to get a nice return from a contending team in a trade.

Crain has come off the disabled list before without going on a minor-league rehab assignment. Plus, the Sox no doubt want to move things along.

‘‘He’s a veteran guy, and it’s not like you have to give him a lot of innings to get ready for the season because we’ve lived that,’’ pitching coach Don Cooper said.

Crain will throw breaking pitches Thursday.

‘‘The more you push it, the better it will feel when you do that again,’’ he said.

Dunn and dumber

Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun’s suspension for the rest of the season for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal isn’t as much of a black eye on baseball as it is on Braun, Sox slugger Adam Dunn said.

‘‘When all this was first happening, I think it was an embarrassment on [Major League Baseball],’’ Dunn said. ‘‘Now I don’t think it’s an embarrassment. The [MLB] Players Association and [MLB] are catching people and doing what they set out to do. If you cheat, you’re going to get caught. I think the embarrassment lies with the player. I can’t imagine. I don’t think I’d leave my house.’’

Dunn, who said he has been tested three or four times, said the 65-game suspension is fair.

‘‘I’ve known Brauny a long time, but how dumb can you be?’’ Dunn said. ‘‘It’s a shame because he’s one of the best out there.

‘‘I don’t know. It must be some really cool stuff, apparently, to risk everything. I don’t get it.’’

Sale’s sorry

Contrite left-hander Chris Sale went to manager Robin Ventura after he disagreed with him about intentionally walking Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera on Monday.

‘‘It’s his call,’’ Sale said. ‘‘I was pretty embarrassed with how I reacted to that last night. I went in there and apologized to him for acting like that. No matter how confident I am in myself for what I think might be right, at the end of the day, it’s his call. And I have to respect that. And learn from my experiences — good, bad or indifferent — and move forward.’’

Sale (2.81 ERA) struck out 11 and allowed two earned runs in eight innings but saw his record drop to 6-9.

DL for Beckham?

The Sox won’t wait more than a few more days to make a decision about putting second baseman Gordon Beckham (strained left wrist) on the disabled list. Beckham, who is batting .325, missed his third consecutive game.

‘‘You don’t like playing short-handed that many days in a row,’’ Ventura said.



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