For too much of this season, the stars haven’t aligned for the Red Sox.
When their pitching is on, their hitting is off. When their lineup is hot, it’s often because their pitching is ice cold.
But on Monday night in Texas, the Red Sox managed to pitch and hit, and as a result, overcame an early deficit and snapped their four-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Rangers.
Kutter Crawford’s excellent night was bookended by trouble, but he was able to work his way out of both jams with minimal damage. The series opener’s starter began the bottom of the first by giving up a first-pitch leadoff home run to Marcus Semien, putting Boston in an immediate 1-0 hole. The Red Sox entered the series 26-52 when opponents score first, so the early deficit didn’t bode well for their starter or the game’s outcome.
But after a one-out single in the first, the 27-year-old right-hander settled down and retired the next 14 batters en route to a quality start. In front of a crowd that included former President George W. Bush, Crawford pitched four perfect frames, including a four-pitch fourth inning, before allowing another Ranger to reach base.
“Kutter’s been throwing the ball so well,” Rob Refsnyder told NESN’s Jahmai Webster. “He’s been so consistent. We love it when Kutter’s on the mound. The guy works his tail off.”
For the fourth time this season, Crawford got through six full innings. He exited charged with two earned runs on four hits, with seven strikeouts, and zero walks. His performance extended the rotation’s streak to nine consecutive games in which one of the team’s starting pitchers allowed three earned runs or fewer.
“He was really good,” Alex Cora told reporters. “He was able to elevate his fastball, expand with the slider, the cutter was good. He gave us six strong innings, and the bullpen did the rest.”
If only they’d gotten starts like these a month ago.
“That’s what we need,” Cora said. “We need these kids to keep pushing to go deeper into the games. The 4 ⅔ , the 4 ⅓ (innings) over and over again, at this level it’s hard to win ball games on a consistent basis, and they understand that, and they’re working hard to get over the hump.”
©2023 MediaNews Group, Inc. Visit at bostonherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.