What was an ordinary split-squad spring-training game for most players at Camelback on Sunday was of monumental importance for Carl Crawford.

The Dodgers' 11-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers was Crawford's first game with the Dodgers and his first with any team since August, when he underwent a season-ending elbow operation.

"The nerves were racing a little bit," Crawford said. "When you have something taken away from you that you like to do and you've been out for so long, you have a different appreciation for it."

Crawford was hitless in three at-bats as the Dodgers' designated hitter. But the four-time All-Star was encouraged, saying he is still aiming to be the starting left fielder in the season opener against the San Francisco Giants on April 1.

"I'm definitely trying to make it back by opening day," Crawford said. "Will it happen? I don't know. It's definitely something I would like to do."