Kutter Crawford leads Red Sox over Rays after call, plus 4 takeaways

Red Sox

Crawford pitched 5.1 innings in relief to lead the Red Sox to victory.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Kutter Crawford is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after leaving during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays. AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

Kutter Crawford’s last outing before Monday’s game against the Rays came in Rochester on June 28, when he helped the Worcester Red Sox to a win with an eight-out performance on a walk.

On Monday, the 26-year-old – who is the No. 24 prospect in the Red Sox system – entered the field at Fenway Park in the third inning and left in the eighth to a standing ovation from Red Sox fans after a nearly Clear 5.1 innings. Crawford picked up his second win of the season and – again – struck out eight while walking one. The Red Sox cruised to a 4-0 win over their division rivals.

“It’s kind of something you dream of, walking off the field and getting a standing ovation from over 35,000 people, especially at Fenway,” Crawford told reporters after the game. “So that was pretty special.”

Crawford started the season with the major league team, but he bounced twice between Boston and Worcester. The Red Sox brought him back on Monday, offering Connor Seabold to Worcester to make room for Crawford.

Crawford delivered — Trevor Story’s fourth-inning solo homer would have been enough to claim the win, though the Red Sox fabricated another run in the fifth and two more in the eighth.

“He makes all his throws,” Alex Cora said after the game. “It was impressive. Good breaking ball, good cutter, good change. The fastball played. He was in control until the last batter. It was really good to see.

Cora praised the pitching department’s player development for bringing in a number of up-and-coming prospects and noted that Crawford has a 75% hitting rate, which helps him stay ahead of the hitters.

Crawford threw five pitches, relying heavily on his cutter, fastball and curveball, according to Baseball Savant. According to the team, he became only the second Red Sox pitcher to pitch more than five relief innings and record eight or more strikeouts.

“During the last few rides I started to figure out something mechanically that helped with that,” Crawford said. “But yeah, just commanding the baseball, the five-pitch area is one of my keys to success.”

Crawford would have been a candidate to pitch Wednesday when the Red Sox need a starter (it won’t be, according to Cora, Chris Sale). That spot will likely go to Bryan Bello after Crawford’s outburst on Monday.

“It was his afternoon,” Cora said.

More takeaways

2. Story’s solo shot in round four carried just far enough into Fenway to clear the right center field wall at 395 feet and an exit speed of 104.9 miles per hour.

“Yesterday he hit the ball the other way, the ball to Wrigley,” Cora said, referring to a ninth-inning volley to right-center that narrowly missed the Red Sox’ 4-2 win over the Cubs. “It’s a good sign, and then he didn’t miss that one. It was important to us. »

Cora noted that Story — and many others — benefit when they can strike right.

“It’s something to play with the big boys here at the time, with Manny [Ramirez], he always said the wall was his friend,” Cora said. “You stay center right, on the fastballs, if they hook one up, you’re going to hit it out of bounds.”

3. The Red Sox capitalized on a pitching error for the second day in a row – after scoring the game-winning runs when Rowan Wick skied a pitch to the first in the 11th, Josh Fleming allowed an insurance run to score at the eighth. Alex Verdugo returned a dribbler to the mound with the bases loaded, but Fleming didn’t get his glove down far enough and the ball bounced past him. Rafael Devers scored accordingly.

4. After Monday, the Red Sox have won five straight at home and are 17-7 in their last 24 games at Fenway Park.

5. The Red Sox got rid of a late night in Chicago on Sunday – they went 11 innings against the Cubs, then returned to Boston to start an important game at home against the Rays. The victory propelled them two games ahead of the Rays and one ahead of the Blue Jays in the AL East. The Yankees did not play, but hold a 13-game lead.

The Red Sox will face the Rays at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday before starting a four-game home series against the Yankees.


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