Injured All-Star Crain starting to feel better

Injured All-Star Crain starting to feel better

CHICAGO -- A scoreless streak of 29 straight appearances and 29 consecutive innings helped Jesse Crain earn the first All-Star appearance of his 10-year career, having been voted in by the players.

To achieve that scoreless streak, the right-hander knows it took more than just great individual pitching.

"You have to have a lot of luck to go on streaks and not give up an earned run," said Crain, who reached 31 games without yielding an earned run. "There are guys on base for sure. So you have to have good defense, plays made behind you. Everything works together when you go on streaks like that.

"How many times do you see it, a run that shouldn't happen. And to be able to go out there 29 or 30 times without that happening, there are a lot of things that have to happen for that."

That franchise-record scoreless streak has been replaced by a right shoulder strain and ensuing trip to the disabled list for Crain, keeping him out of action for the All-Star Game at Citi Field. Crain had a similar issue last season and in '09 with the Twins, giving him a frame of reference for this season's work to get back.

The shoulder remained sore on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but Crain hopes the pain was part of the healing process as he felt better over the last couple of days.

"I'm ready for that next step and start strengthening it and throwing again," Crain said. "My arm just gets tired and when that happens, unfortunately I strain it.

"Every year, I try to make some kind of tweaks to see if I can figure out what ... maybe cut down on throwing before games. I like to get out there and stretch out. It's hard to judge it because every single year you have more workload, less workload. You just take it year by year. Hopefully, it's something I can control from here on out."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.