The Red Sox fell to the Cardinals by a final score of 11-2 at Fenway Park on Saturday night. With the loss, Boston drops to 35-31 on the season.
Kutter Crawford, making his second start of the season for the Sox, did not pitch as effectively as he did in his last time out against the Mariners. This time around, the rookie right-hander surrendered four runs on six hits and no walks to go along with three strikeouts over four innings of work.
Two of the six hits Crawford gave up were home runs. With two outs and a runner on in the top of the first, Nolan Arenado crushed a two-run shot 382 feet over the Green Monster to give St. Louis an early 2-0 lead.
In the second, Tyler O’Neill led off with a groundball single and scored all the way from first base on a line-drive double to right field off the bat of Dylan Carlson.
Already trailing by three runs going into the bottom of the second, Xander Bogaerts provided a spark with a leadoff single of his own off Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson. Franchy Cordero then drew a one-out walk to put runners at first and second for Bobby Dalbec, who drove in Bogaerts and moved Cordero up to third on an RBI single. With runners on the corners and the chance to cut further into the deficit, Jackie Bradley Jr. grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Crawford and Hudson each traded zeroes in the third inning, but Crawford ran into more trouble in the fourth when he served up a booming 440-foot leadoff homer to Nolan Gorman. The ball left Gorman’s bat at 106.7 mph and gave St. Louis a 4-1 lead.
The fourth inning would prove to be Crawford’s last frame. The 26-year-old hurler finished with a final pitch count of 85 (53 strikes) and topped out at 96.1 mph with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 37 times. His ERA on the season now sits at 6.41.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Red Sox lineup took advantage of Hudson’s apparent lack of command, but only got one run out of it. Trevor Story singled and Dalbec and Bradley Jr. drew a pair of two-out walks to fill the bases for Kevin Plawecki, who took ball four himself to plate Story. As the lineup flipped back over, though, Jarren Duran extinguished the threat by grounding out to Arenado.
With Boston’s bullpen taking over for Crawford beginning in the fifth, it was Ryan Brasier who got the first call from manager Alex Cora. Brasier made relative quick work of the St. Louis bats in a scoreless inning of relief. The same cannot be said for Hansel Robles in the sixth.
After fanning Gorman on five pitches for the first out of the frame, Robles proceeded to give up a first-pitch, 410-foot solo shot to O’Neill to put the Cardinals up 5-2. Robles’ troubles did not end there, as the righty loaded the bases on one single and two walks before getting pulled for Hirokazu Sawamura.
Robles, for what it’s worth, averaged 94 mph with his four-seamer on Saturday. He came into the night averaging 96 mph with his most-frequently used pitch. Sawamura, meanwhile, inherited a bases-loaded jam and immediately gave up a two-run single to Tommy Edman. Paul Goldschmidt tacked on an additional two runs and Arenado capped off the six-run sixth inning with another RBI single.
From there, Austin Davis tossed three one-run innings of relief while setting a new career high in pitches thrown in a game with 54.
Down to their final three outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Sox went down quietly to seal an 11-2 defeat and their fourth loss in the month of June.
Next up: Pivetta vs. Pallante in rubber match
The Red Sox will look to close out the weekend with a series win over the Cardinals on Father’s Day. Nick Pivetta will get the start for Boston and will be opposed by fellow right-hander Andre Pallante for St. Louis.
First pitch from Fenway Park on Sunday is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.
(Picture of Hansel Robles: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)