Red Sox designate Eric Hosmer for assignment, likely ending first baseman’s time in Boston after just 14 games

After acquiring right-handed reliever Wyatt Mills from the Royals on Friday night, the Red Sox needed to clear a spot on their 40-man roster. They did so by designating veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer for assignment.

Hosmer was acquired from the Padres (with minor-leaguers Corey Rosier and Max Ferguson) in exchange for pitching prospect Jay Groome in early August. The 33-year-old was initially going to be traded to the Nationals as part of the package that netted the Padres Juan Soto and Josh Bell, but he exercised his limited no-trade clause and Luke Voit was sent in his place.

The Red Sox then jumped in on the opportunity to nab Hosmer, who signed off on the move. As part of the four-player swap, Boston would only owe Hosmer the league minimum while San Diego would be responsible for the rest of his contract.

To that point in the season, the Red Sox had gotten little production out of their first basemen, namely Bobby Dalbec and Franchy Cordero. Hosmer, a four-time Gold Glove Award winner, was brought in to provide some stability at the position. He made his Boston debut on Aug. 4 and batted .225/.311/.300 with three doubles, four RBIs, six runs scored, four walks, and nine strikeouts in his first 12 games (45 plate appearances) with the club before hitting the injured list with low back inflammation on Aug. 23.

While Hosmer was sidelined, the Red Sox called up top first-base prospect Triston Casas from Triple-A Worcester in early September. The 22-year-old impressed to some degree down the stretch, as he slashed .197/.358/.408 with one double, five home runs, 12 RBIs, 11 runs scored, one stolen base, 19 walks, and 23 strikeouts over 27 games (95 plate appearances). Hosmer, on the other hand, returned from the injured list in early October and went 2-for-5 (.400) in two games against the Rays before season’s end.

The Red Sox entered the offseason with four first basemen on their 40-man roster (or five if you include Christian Arroyo). Last month, they did not tender a contract to Cordero, who has since signed a minor-league deal with the Orioles. They have also made Dalbec available in trade talks. Hosmer unsurprisingly opted into the final three years and $39 million of the eight-year, $144 million deal he originally received from the Padres in February 2018. Casas injured himself in winter ball but projects to be the team’s Opening Day first baseman in 2023.

Both Casas and Hosmer hit from the left side of the plate and primarily play first base, so rostering the two of them would have been difficult due to their redundancy. The Red Sox clearly view Casas — who turns 23 in January — as their first baseman of the future while Hosmer was viewed as more of an insurance policy. Keeping Hosmer on the roster was not impossible, but the kind of offensive production he has provided of late does not make him an ideal designated hitter candidate, either.

“Our roster isn’t complete yet, but as we build our club, we feel it’s important to give Triston a clear lane, and that carrying two left-handed hitting first basemen would leave us short in other areas,” chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom told MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo on Friday night. “Given that, it’s important to do right by Eric and give him time to find his next opportunity. We knew when we first got him that this day would come at some point, and wanted to make sure we treated him right.”

Instead of holding onto Hosmer going into the spring, the Red Sox — as explained by Bloom— elected to cut bait now. Boston now has the next seven days to either trade, release, or waive Hosmer, who can reject any move since he gained a full no-trade clause after being dealt by the Padres. Though Hosmer, who turns 34 in October, is slated to earn $13 million per year over the next three years, he can be had for the major-league minimum since San Diego remains on the hook for the bulk of the $39 million that is still owed to him. That in itself could make the former All-Star appealing to other teams in need of an experienced first baseman. If all else fails, Bloom and Co. could simply elect to release Hosmer, which would allow him to hit the open market and sign elsewhere as a free agent.

With Hosmer out of the picture, the Red Sox now seem poised to pursue a right-handed hitting corner infielder who could complement Casas at first base and would be an upgrade over Dalbec, who posted a .652 OPS in 117 games this past season.

Hosmer, for what it’s worth, becomes the third player Boston has designated for assignment this week, joining the likes of infielder/outfielder Hoy Park (who has since been traded to the Braves) and infielder Jeter Downs, who will likely get traded to or be claimed by another team in the coming days.

(Picture of Eric Hosmer: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Red Sox have talked about signing former Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson, per report

The Red Sox have talked about signing free agent third baseman/outfielder Brian Anderson, according to Boston Sports Journal’s Sean McAdam.

Anderson, 29, was non-tendered by the Marlins last month after batting just .222/.311/.346 with 16 doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 28 RBIs, 43 runs scored, one stolen base, 37 walks, and 101 strikeouts over 98 games (383 plate appearances) this past season. The right-handed hitter was projected to earn $5.2 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility, but he instead hit the open market earlier than anticipated.

A former third-round draft selection out of the University of Arkansas in 2014, Anderson was a top prospect within Miami’s farm system prior to making his major-league debut in September 2017. He finished fourth in National League Rookie of the Year voting during his first full season as a big-leaguer in 2018 and then hit a career-high 20 home runs while posting an .811 OPS the following year.

Anderson appeared in 59 of the Marlins’ 60 games in the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign but has since been dogged by different injuries. Last season, he was limited to just 67 games due to a left oblique strain and left shoulder subluxation. This year, Anderson missed time with lower back spasms and a left shoulder sprain.

Defensively, the majority of Anderson’s playing time over the last six seasons has come at either third base or right field. In 2022, the 6-foot-3, 208-pounder graded posted negative-four defensive runs saved and negative-two outs above average across 371 innings at the hot corner as well as one defensive run saved and negative-three outs above average across 307 1/3 innings in right. He also ranked in the 99th percentile of the league in arm strength by averaging 95.9 mph on his throws, per Baseball Savant.

Anderson, who turns 30 in May, represents another potential buy-low candidate for the Red Sox who can play multiple positions. The CAA Sports Client is presumably looking to up his value before hitting the open market again next winter, and Boston could provide him with that opportunity by signing him to a one-year contract.

With the Red Sox reportedly open to trading Bobby Dalbec, Anderson would make sense as a right-handed bat who could come off the bench and complement Rafael Devers at third base. He could also spell the left-handed hitting duo of Alex Verdugo and Masataka Yoshida when needed as well.

(Picture of Brian Anderson: Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

With additions of Kenley Jansen and Masataka Yoshida looming, Red Sox face possible roster crunch

The Red Sox will be facing a roster crunch of sorts in the coming days after a busy week at the Winter Meetings in San Diego.

After officially signing veteran reliever Chris Martin to a two-year, $17.5 million contract on Thursday, Boston’s 40-man roster is now at full capacity. Earlier this week, the Sox reportedly agreed to a two-year, $32 million deal with closer Kenley Jansen and a record-setting five-year, $90 million deal with Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida.

Once the signings of Jansen and Yoshida become official, the Red Sox will need to create two spots on their 40-man roster in order to accommodate those two additions. How they plan on doing that remains unclear.

So far this month, Boston has already outrighted catcher Ronaldo Hernandez off the 40-man roster, which paved the way for Martin to be added on Thursday. It’s possible that other players towards the end of the 40-man — like Hernandez was — could be on the chopping block as well.

Bobby Dalbec, for instance, came up in trade talks this week. On Monday, Boston Sports Journal’s Sean McAdam reported that the Red Sox “have told teams that Dalbec is available” and that the Rays were one of the teams “which has expressed some interest.”

That Dalbec has been made available is not all that surprising. The 27-year-old slugger struggled to the tune of a .215/.283/.369 slash line with 12 home runs and 39 RBIs in 117 games this season while grading as a poor defender at first base. He was sent down to Worcester when top prospect Triston Casas was called up in September and is squarely behind him and Eric Hosmer on Boston’s first-base depth chart.

Dalbec, who turns 28 next June, is just one year removed from a 25-homer season in which he produced a 106 wRC+. The former fourth-round draft pick also does not become eligible for salary arbitration until 2024 and has two minor-league options remaining. The Red Sox are probably not asking for much in return for Dalbec, who came up through the minor-leagues as a third baseman, though they could potentially land an unheralded prospect for him who is more of a lottery ticket than anything.

Boston recently parted ways with a similar type of prospect when it acquired infielder/outfielder Hoy Park from the Pirates late last month. Park, who had just been designated for assignment by Pittsburgh, cost the Red Sox right-hander Inmer Lobo, who was signed for $10,000 out of Venezuela back in January.

Park, 27 in April, could be in limbo with his new club the same way he was in with the Pirates. The South Korea native broke in with the Yankees last July and has since batted .201/.291/.346 with five homers and 20 RBIs in 68 games between New York and Pittsburgh. He, like Dalbec, has two minor-league options remaining but also comes with more years of control since he does not become arbitration-eligible until 2026.

Dalbec and Park represent just two possibilities for chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom when it comes to trimming down the size of the Sox’ 40-man roster. Relievers Ryan Brasier and Darwinzon Hernandez were each tendered contracts last month but are coming off disappointing 2022 seasons. Jeter Downs, the top prospect acquired from the Dodgers in the Mookie Betts trade, made his major-league debut in June but looked outmatched at times at the plate. The same can be said for outfielder Jarren Duran.

Hosmer opted in to the final three years and $39 million of his contract in early November. The Red Sox, however, only owe the 33-year-old the league minimum over the next three seasons after acquiring him from the Padres at the trade deadline. Since Hosmer has a no-trade clause and therefore has the right to reject a move to another team, Boston could elect to simply designate him for assignment or outright release him if all else fails.

All told, the Red Sox will have some interesting — and maybe even difficult — decisions to make in the coming days as they introduce Jansen and Yoshida to the organization.

(Picture of Chaim Bloom: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox end season series against Blue Jays by getting swept in Toronto

The Red Sox were swept by the Blue Jays in their final road series of the season. Boston fell to Toronto, 6-3, at Rogers Centre on Sunday to drop to 75-84 on the year. That includes a final record of 35-46 away from Fenway Park.

After getting shut out in the first two games of this series, The Sox actually jumped out to an early lead in Sunday’s finale. With Kevin Gausman starting for the Jays, J.D. Martinez led off the top half of the second inning with a sharply-hit single. Abraham Almonte followed with a one-out double that put runners at second and third for Bobby Dalbec.

Dalbec, who was starting at third base in place of Rafael Devers, came through by drilling a two-run single to center field. Martinez and Almonte both scored to get Boston on the board first.

That lead, however, did not last long, as Michael Wacha ended his first season with the Red Sox on a sour note. The veteran right-hander allowed five earned runs on six hits and one walk to go along with four strikeouts over just four innings of work.

All four of those Toronto runs were scored from the second through fourth innings. To lead off both the second and third, Wacha served up a pair of solo shots to Teoscar Hernandez and Whit Merrifield, respectively. The Blue Jays took the lead in the fourth. After Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drew a leadoff walk off Wacha, Hernandez went deep yet again to put his side up by two runs at 4-2.

Wacha then gave up a one-out double to Danny Jansen, who scored from second on a two-out double off the bat of Merrifield. The righty was able to strand Merrifield at second by getting former teammate to Jackie Bradley Jr. to ground out to first base.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 71 (48 strikes), Wacha induced just five swings-and-misses. The 31-year-old hurler wound up surrendering 11 runs in his final two starts, bringing his final ERA up to 3.32.

In relief of Wacha, Eduard Bazardo received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora and struck out two of the seven batters he faced across two scoreless frames. The Red Sox then got back to within two runs of the Blue Jays in the seventh when Dalbec crushed a 436-foot homer off reliever Anthony Bass.

Dalbec’s 12th home run of the season had an exit velocity of 108.8 mph and made it a 5-3 game in favor of Toronto. But the Jays answered with another run in their half of the seventh when Merrifield doubled off Kaleb Ort and later scored on a fielder’s choice.

From there, Franklin German put together the first scoreless outing of his major-league career in the bottom of the eighth. The Sox then went down quietly against Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano to seal a 6-3 defeat.

With Sunday’s loss, the Red Sox finish their season series against the Blue Jays having won just three of 19 games. Over the course of those 19 contests, they were outscored, 125-55.

Next up: Back to Boston for the final time this season

The Red Sox will fly back to Boston on Sunday night and open a three-game series against the Rays on Monday to close out their season. Veteran left-hander Rich Hill is slated to start for Boston while right-hander Tyler Glasnow is expected to do the same for Tampa Bay.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Michael Wacha: Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Trevor Story on injured list with left heel contusion, recall Bobby Dalbec from Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have placed second baseman Trevor Story on the 10-day injured list with a left heel contusion. In a corresponding move, first baseman/third baseman Bobby Dalbec was recalled from Triple-A Worcester, the club announced prior to Thursday’s series opener against the Yankees.

Story has not played since September 11, when he banged his left heel on the first-base bag in the seventh inning of a 1-0 win over the Orioles in Baltimore. At that time, it was not believed that the 29-year-old would be sidelined for long.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora had said several times over the last 11 days that Story could be back in the lineup soon, but that timeline kept getting pushed back to the point where a trip to the injured list became necessary.

Since his stint on the injured list was backdated to Sept. 19, Story will first be eligible to be activated one week from Thursday. The Red Sox will have just seven games remaining on their schedule at that point, so they could very well elect to shut down the veteran infielder for the remainder of the year.

Story, who is in the first year of a six-year, $140 million contract, spent more than six weeks on the injured list earlier this summer because of a small hairline fracture near his right wrist. Upon returning from the IL, the right-handed hitter batted .340/.389/.500 with five doubles, one home run, eight RBIs, four runs scored, three stolen bases, four walks, and 17 strikeouts across 13 games (54 plate appearances) before injuring his heel two Sundays ago.

On the 2022 campaign as a whole, Story has slashed .238/.303/.434 with 22 doubles, 16 home runs, 66 RBIs, 53 runs scored, 13 stolen bases, 32 walks, and 132 strikeouts over 94 games and 396 trips to the plate. He has also been one of the better defensive second baseman in the American League when healthy.

With Story out of action for the time being, Christian Arroyo, Enrique Hernandez, and Yu Chang figure to see the lion’s share of their playing time come at second base. Chang will be making his second start there for Boston on Thursday.

Dalbec, meanwhile, returns to the Red Sox after being sent down on Sept. 4, when fellow first baseman Triston Casas was called up from Worcester. From the time he was demoted, the 27-year-old slugger appeared in 13 games for the WooSox and went 12-for-48 (.250) with five home runs and eight runs driven in.

At the big-league level this season, Dalbec has struggled to a .211/.282/.362 slash line to go along with nine doubles, two triples, 11 home runs, 36 RBIs, 38 runs scored, three stolen bases, 29 walks, and 113 strikeouts in 111 games (340 plate appearances). He is not in Thursday’s starting lineup.

(Picture of Trevor Story: G Fiume/Getty Images)

Bobby Dalbec set to make first career start at shortstop for Red Sox

As the Red Sox look to bounce back against the Blue Jays on Wednesday night, Bobby Dalbec will be making his first-ever start at shortstop.

With Xander Bogaerts out of the lineup due to back spasms and Enrique Hernandez starting at second base in place of a banged-up Christian Arroyo, Dalbec will serve as Hernandez’s double play partner.

While Dalbec has never started a game at shortstop in the major-leagues, he did play four innings at the position last season without committing an error. The 27-year-old also logged three innings at short as a minor-leaguer in 2018, though he never saw time at the position during his three seasons at the University of Arizona.

Dalbec will become the fourth different player the Red Sox have started at shortstop this season, joining the likes of Bogarts, Arroyo, Hernandez, and Jonathan Arauz. The right-handed hitter, who will bat seventh on Wednesday, is currently slashing .206/.279/.364 with 11 home runs, 32 RBIs, and 35 runs scored in 105 games (319 plate appearances) for Boston this year.

With Dalbec handling things at shortstop, Rafael Devers will start at third base and Franchy Cordero will start at first base. Alex Verdugo, Jarren Duran, and leadoff man Rob Refsnyder make up the starting outfield from left to right. Tommy Pham, like Bogaerts, is not available because of back spasms.

Brayan Bello, who was just activated from the injured list after missing the last three weeks with a left groin strain, is making his fourth start and sixth overall appearance of the season. Reese McGuire will be catching the rookie right-hander.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Bobby Dalbec: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Franchy Cordero commits 3 errors as Red Sox blow late lead and fall to Guardians, 7-6, to drop below .500

For the first time since June 4, the Red Sox are under .500. Boston blew a late lead and ultimately fell to the Guardians by a final score of 7-6 on Wednesday night to drop to 49-50 on the season.

Nathan Eovaldi, making his second start since returning from the injured list on July 15, allowed five runs (three earned) on nine hits and zero walks to go along with one strikeout over six innings of work.

Three of those five Cleveland runs came in the top half of the second inning. Franmil Reyes led off with a ground-rule double and moved up to third base on an Owen Miller single. Following a mound visit from pitching coach Dave Bush, Eovaldi got Nolan Jones to chop a groundball in the direction of Franchy Cordero at first base.

Cordero, while running to his right, attempted to corral the ball with his glove but picked it off the ground barehanded. With his momentum carrying him in the opposite direction, he made an awkward throw to Eovaldi, who was covering the first-base bag. Said, throw, however, was nowhere near Eovaldi and instead rolled into the Red Sox dugout. So not only did Reyes score on the play, but Miller advanced to third while Jones reached base safely.

The Guardians took full advantage of Cordero’s fielding and throwing errors, as Austin Hedges plated Miller on an RBI groundout and Straw drove in Jones on a run-scoring double to give his side an early 3-0 advantage.

The Red Sox, matched up against right-hander Cal Quantrill, responded by scoring two runs of their own in the bottom of the second. After Cordero drew a two-out walk, Bobby Dalbec crushed a 410-foot two-run home run over the Green Monster to cut the deficit to one at 3-2.

Eovaldi, meanwhile ran into more trouble in the fourth, when Jones led off with a sharply-hit double and moved up to third on a successful sacrifice bunt laid down by Hedges. Straw fanned on four pitches for the second out, but Steven Kwan and Amed Rosario kept the inning alive by stringing together back-to-back run-scoring hits.

Once more, the Sox kept the pressure on by answering with two runs in the latter half of the fourth. Christian Vazquez reached on a one-out single and then scored all the way from first on an RBI double off the bat of Cordero that neither Kawan or Rosario could handle cleanly. As a result, Cordero advanced up to third base and easily scored on a Dalbec sacrifice fly.

At the very least, Eovaldi was able to settle down a bit from there. The 32-year-old right-hander retired eight of the final nine batters he faced leading into the middle of the sixth inning. Of the 95 pitches he wound up throwing, 67 went for strikes. His ERA on the season now sits at 4.32.

The Cordero-Dalbec combo struck again in the bottom of the sixth. Moments after the former reached base on a force out, the latter followed by clubbing his second home run of the night. Dalbec’s 10th homer of the season left his bat at 107.1 mph and traveled 397 feet to dead center field. It also gave the Red Sox their first lead of the contest at 6-5.

That newfound lead would not last long, though. After John Schreiber worked a scoreless seventh inning in relief of Eovaldi, the righty was called upon again to take the mound in the eighth. He begin the frame by giving up an infield single to Jones, but the Guardians rookie was able to take second base as well thanks to another Cordero throwing error.

Schreiber then surrendered a game-tying RBI double to Straw. An inning later, Tanner Houck served up a go-ahead solo homer to Josh Naylor that put Cleveland back up, 6-5.

Emmanuel Clase came on to close things out in the ninth for the second straight night and did just that by making quick work of Jackie Bradley Jr., Yolmer Sanchez, and Rob Refsnyder.

With the loss, Boston has now dropped seven of its last eight games to fall to a dismal 6-17 in the month of July. It is also 31-41 against teams with winning records and 13-16 in one-run games this season.

According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Cordero is the first Red Sox first baseman to commit three errors in a single game since Mo Vaughn did so in 1993.

Dalbec, on the other hand, has four hits in his last seven games. Three of those have left the yard.

Next up: Crawford vs. McKenzie

The Red Sox will look to settle for a four-game series split in Thursday’s finale with the Guardians. In a starting pitching matchup featuring a pair of right-handers who went to high school in Florida, Kutter Crawford will get the ball for Boston while Triston McKenzie will do the same for Cleveland.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Franchy Cordero: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Despite another solid start from Kutter Crawford, Red Sox drop another series to American League East opponent in 4-1 loss to Blue Jays

The Red Sox may not have gotten blown out by the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon, but they still lost. Boston fell to Toronto by a final score of 4-1 on Fenway Park to extend its losing streak to three and drop to 48-47 on the season.

The lone run the Sox scored came in their half of the second inning. Bobby Dalbec led off the frame by crushing a 391-foot solo shot off Jays starter Alek Manoah for his eighth home run of the season. It gave Boston an early 1-0 lead, and it even had a chance to add on some more as Jackie Bradley Jr. followed with a single and advanced all the way up to third base with just one out. But Jeter Downs struck out and Jarren Duran flew out to extinguish the threat.

Toronto took full advantage of that missed opportunity in its half of the third. With Kutter Crawford on the mound for Boston, Matt Chapman led off with a single and promptly scored all the way from first on a game-tying RBI single off the bat of former Red Sox prospect Santiago Espinal. Espinal then moved up to third on a Cavan Biggio double. Both runners scored on an RBI single from George Springer and a sacrifice fly from Alejandro Kirk.

Despite a rocky third inning, Crawford was able to settle in and put together another solid start. Over six strong innings of work, the right-hander allowed just those three earned runs on five hits and one walk to go along with four strikeouts on the afternoon. He retired eight of the final nine batters he faced from the fourth inning on and finished with a final pitch count of 77 (52 strikes). The 26-year-old’s ERA on the season now sits at 4.50.

In relief of Crawford, Red Sox manager Alex Cora was aggressive in how he used his bullpen. John Schreiber and Tanner Houck each worked their way around a walk in their respective shutout innings. Ryan Brasier, on the other hand, issued a leadoff single to Kirk in the ninth. Bradley Zimmer came on to pinch-run for Kirk, stole second base, moved up to third on a Bo Bichette groundout, and scored his side’s fourth run on a choppy RBI base hit from Teoscar Hernandez.

Trailing 4-1 going into their half of the ninth inning, the Red Sox had been held in check to that point by the Blue Jays pitching staff. After running into some trouble in the second, Manoah — like Crawford — found a groove and wound up scattering seven hits across six one-run frames.

In the bottom of the eighth, Toronto reliever Adam Cimber plunked two of the first three batters he faced to bring the then-go-ahead run to the plate with only one out. But Franchy Cordero punched out and Dalbec flew out against Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano to end the inning.

Down to their final three outs, Bradley Jr., Yolmer Sanchez, and the pinch-hitting Kevin Plawecki went down quietly against Romano to seal the 4-1 defeat.

All told, Boston went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on base as a team. Cordero went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and is now 0-for-21 with 17 punchouts in his last seven games. Downs and Duran, meanwhile, combined to go 0-for-7 with five strikeouts.

Saturday’s loss guarantees that the Red Sox will not win their series against the Blue Jays this weekend, meaning they are now 0-11-1 in series against American League East opponents as well as 12-28 within the division.

Next up: Stripling vs. Bello in finale

The Red Sox will look to salvage their weekend with a win over the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon. Top pitching prospect Brayan Bello is expected to make his third start for Boston while Toronto will roll with a fellow right-hander in Ross Stripling.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Kutter Crawford: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Hansel Robles and Hirokazu Sawamura combine to give up 6 runs in sixth inning as Red Sox fall to Cardinals, 11-2

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)

Bobby Dalbec’s RBI double lifts Red Sox to another 1-0 win over Angels

For the second time in three games, the Red Sox squeaked out a 1-0 win over the Angels in Anaheim on Wednesday night.

They did not get a complete game from their starting pitcher this time around, but they still held on to win their seventh straight game and improve to 30-27 on the season.

The game’s lone run came in the sixth inning. Up until that point in the contest, the Rafael Devers-less Red Sox lineup had been held in check by Angels pitching despite squandering a number of scoring opportunities.

With two outs in the sixth, though, Alex Verdugo drew an eight-pitch walk off Halos reliever Jimmy Herget. Three pitches later, Verdugo scored all the way from first when Bobby Dalbec laced a 93 mph double down the left field line.

Dalbec then attempted to score from second on a Kevin Plawecki single, but was thrown out at home plate. Still, the damage had already been done.

In the middle of the sixth, Red Sox manager Alex Cora elected to turn to his bullpen after getting five scoreless innings from Nathan Eovaldi. While Eovaldi scattered six hits without walking a batter and struck out five in his 12th start of the season, the right-hander’s velocity was noticeably down.

Of the 84 pitches (56 strikes) Eovaldi threw, 32 were fastballs. He averaged 94 mph with the pitch, down from the 96.7 mph he averaged with it coming into play on Wednesday. The 32-year-old also induced seven swings-and-misses with his splitter, a pitch he threw 24 times in the process of lowering his ERA on the season to 3.16.

In relief of Eovaldi, Tyler Danish received the first call from Cora out of the Boston bullpen. With a brand new 1-0 lead to work with, Danish tossed a scoreless frame in the bottom of the sixth before plunking the first batter he faced in the seventh.

That prompted Cora to call upon Jake Diekman, who got the pinch-hitting Max Stassi to ground into a 6-4-3 double play that was capped with a nice scoop at first base by Christian Vazquez, who was making his first start of the year at the position.

Diekman then fanned the dangerous Shohei Ohtani to retire the side in the seventh and make way for John Schreiber in the eighth. Schreiber, in turn, got the next four outs before Cora pulled him in favor of Matt Strahm.

Tasked with recording the final two outs of the ballgame, Strahm did just that on five pitches to earn the save and seal the win.

According to MLB.com’s Ian Browne, this is the first time the Red Sox have won two games in the same series by a final score of 1-0 since July 18 and 19 of 2006 against the Royals.

Browne also notes that Eovaldi was dealing with a tight right hip on Wednesday, which likely led to the dip in velocity.

Next up: Pivetta vs. Ohtani in series finale

The Red Sox will look to keep their perfect west coast road trip going by completing a four-game sweep over the Angels on Thursday night. Boston will turn to right-hander Nick Pivetta while Los Angeles will roll with fellow righty Shohei Ohtani.

First pitch from Angel Stadium is scheduled for 9:38 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Christian Vazquez and Bobby Dalbec: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)