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Baseball: Boston Red Sox call up El Camino Real's Ryan Lavarnway

August 18, 2011 |  4:03 pm

It's been a nice month for former Southern California players to make their major league debuts.

Crenshaw's Trayvon Robinson had a home run and a home run-saving catch in his first few games with the Seattle Mariners.

And now former El Camino Real catcher Ryan Lavarnway is playing in his first game Thursday for the Boston Red Sox. He was in the lineup as a designated hitter for the Red Sox's game against Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium and is expected to stay in that spot for a while as David Ortiz recovers from bursitis in his right heel.

Most prospects come to the majors on the heels of a hot streak; not Lavarnway. He was in the midst of a stretch in which he had only five hits in his last 40 at-bats for triple-A Pawtucket, good for a .125 average. But he had been mostly productive on the season, hitting a combined 30 homers and driving in 85 runs in 110 games at the double-A and triple-A levels.

--Ben Bolch