Red Sox place Kutter Crawford on 15-day injured list with right shoulder impingement

The Red Sox have placed right-hander Kutter Crawford on the 15-day injured list with a right shoulder impingement. In a corresponding move, fellow rookie righty was recalled from Triple-A Worcester, the club announced earlier Sunday morning.

Crawford was originally slated to start Sunday’s series finale against the Rangers at Fenway Park. He was instead scratched after experiencing shoulder soreness. The 26-year-old’s stint on the injured list is backdated to September 1, so he will first be eligible to return when the Red Sox open a three-game weekend series with the Royals on Sept. 16.

When speaking with reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo) prior to Sunday’s 5-2 win over Texas, Red Sox manager Alex Cora expressed optimism that Crawford would only require the minimum 15 dats on the injured list.

Crawford, who last pitched in Minnesota on Tuesday, has posted a 5.47 ERA and 4.35 FIP with 77 strikeouts to 29 walks over 21 appearances (12 starts) spanning 77 1/3 innings of work for Boston this season. While there have been some impressive stretches, he has gotten tagged for 18 runs (17 earned) in his last three starts (12 2/3 innings) dating back to August 19. That is good for an ERA of 12.08.

With Crawford sidelined for the time being, Winckowski took his spot in the starting rotation on Sunday. The 24-year-old allowed two runs on three hits, three walks, and three strikeouts over four innings of work.

Both of those runs came right away in the top of the first, but Winckowski settled down and tossed three consecutive scoreless frames to end his day on a more positive note. He finished with a final pitch count of 82 (47 strikes) and lowered his ERA to 5.75, though he did not factor into the decision.

As it turns out, Winckowski’s latest big-league stint may be short-lived. As Cotillo reports, the Red Sox will need to clear a roster spot for reliever Zack Kelly, who was placed on the paternity leave list on Friday.

Kelly and his wife, Brittany, have since welcomed their first child. The 27-year-old is expected to re-join the Red Sox in St. Petersburg on Monday ahead of their upcoming series against the Rays.

That being said, it appears as though Winckowski will be optioned back to Worcester when Kelly is activated from the paternity leave list at some point on Monday. The Red Sox have three off days within the next two weeks, so they should be able to operate with a four-man starting rotation for the time being.

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

Red Sox scratch Kutter Crawford from scheduled start on Sunday due to shoulder soreness

When the Red Sox go for a four-game sweep of the Rangers on Sunday afternoon, right-hander Kutter Crawford will not take the Fenway Park mound as originally planned.

Crawford has instead been scratched from his start due to shoulder soreness, manager Alex Cora said following Saturday’s 5-3 win over Texas. Boston has yet to announce who will start in his place on Sunday.

The shoulder soreness Crawford is currently experiencing stems from him playing catch on Friday. The decision to scratch the 26-year-old was made out of an abundance of caution, as the Red Sox will know more about his status later Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

“He wasn’t moving well today after he played catch yesterday so we’re not going to push him,” Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo) while adding that a stint on the injured list is a possibility.

With Crawford unable to go on Sunday, fellow righty Josh Winckowski is a candidate to start in his place. The 24-year-old was optioned to Triple-A Worcester on August 24, but has since been added to the big-league club’s taxi squad.

Winckowski last pitched for the WooSox one week ago Sunday, allowing four earned runs on five hits, three walks, and four strikeouts over four innings against the Syracuse Mets. In 13 starts for Boston this season, the 6-foot-4, 202-pound hurler owns an ERA of 5.83.

Crawford, who last pitched for the Red Sox in Minnesota on Tuesday, has posted a 5.47 ERA and 4.35 FIP with 77 strikeouts to 29 walks over 21 appearances (12 starts) spanning 77 1/3 innings of work this season. He has been tagged for 18 runs (17 earned) in his last three starts (12 2/3 innings) dating back Aug. 19.

As Cotillo suggested, Winckowski will likely be called up from Worcester if Crawford does indeed require a stay on the injured list. If he does not, Boston could elect to go in the direction of a bullpen game for Sunday’s series finale.

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

Kutter Crawford, Ryan Brasier combine to give up 7 runs as Red Sox fall to Twins, 10-5

The Red Sox dropped their second straight to the Twins on Tuesday night. Boston fell to Minnesota by a final score of 10-5 at Target Field despite having a 4-3 lead at one point.

Kutter Crawford, making his 12th start and 21st overall appearance of the season for the Sox, surrendered five runs — four of which were earned — on four hits and four walks to go along with five strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings of work.

Three of those runs came within the first two innings. Crawford retired the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the first before issuing a pair of two-out walks to Max Kepler and Jose Miranda. The rookie right-hander then gave up a two-run double to Nick Gordon that got the Twins on the board first.

An inning later, Jake Cave led off the bottom of the second by taking Crawford 400 feet deep to left-center field for just his third home run of the season. Crawford put together his first scoreless frame of the night in the third and did it again in the fourth.

The Red Sox lineup, meanwhile, finally broke through against Twins starter Chris Archer in their half of the fourth. An Alex Verdugo leadoff single and Xander Bogaerts double put runners at second and third with no outs for Rafael Devers. Devers drove in Verdugo with a sacrifice fly to make it a 3-1 game in favor of Minnesota. J.D. Martinez followed by drawing a six-pitch walk, but Trevor Story grounded into an inning-ending double play to extinguish the threat.

In the fifth, however, the Sox were able to mount a rally. With Enrique Hernandez and Reese McGuire on the corners following a pair of one-out singles, Tommy Pham trimmed Boston’s deficit to one with a run-scoring base hit through the right side of the infield. That knocked Archer out of the game in favor of Caleb Thielbar.

McGuire moved up to third base when Verdugo grounded into a force out at second. With runners at the corners yet again, Bogaerts greeted the new Twins reliever by blooping a 241-foot game-tying single to left field to push across McGuire and move Verdugo to third. Devers then drew a bases-filling walk, prompting another Minnesota pitching change.

Michael Fulmer was dispatched to face Martinez, but he first airmailed a wild pitch to the backstop that allowed Verdugo to score the go-ahead run on a feet-first slide. The Red Sox had a chance to add to their newfound 4-3 lead, but Martinez struck out against his former teammate to leave things there.

Crawford came back out for the fifth and got Luis Arraez to fly out to Pham for the first out of the inning. It appeared as though Crawford was going to get the second out when he got Carlos Correa to lift a 318-foot flyball to Verdugo in right field.

Verdugo failed to make a clean catch, though, as the ball deflected off his glove, allowing Correa to reach first base safely. Correa then issued another walk to Kepler, which is how his night would come to an end as Red Sox manager Alex Cora pulled the righty for Ryan Brasier.

Brasier, in turn, made a sticky situation even worse by plunking the first batter he faced in Jose Miranda to load the bases. Gordon, already in the midst of a productive evening at the plate, took full advantage of the spot he was in by unloading the bases with a 416-foot grand slam over everything in right field.

Gordon’s sixth homer of the season officially closed the book on Crawford, who finished with a final pitch count of 76 (43 strikes). The 26-year-old hurler managed to induce just seven swings-and-misses while raising his ERA on the season to 5.47 (7.58 ERA in August). He was also hit with his sixth losing decision of the year.

Brasier, on the other hand, was tagged for two runs after getting through the rest of the fifth inning unscathed. The recently-turned 35-year-old has now allowed 14 runs (13 earned) to cross the plate in 14 relief appearances (12 innings) this month. That is good for an ERA of 9.75.

Boston’s bullpen struggled continued into the sixth inning, as Jeurys Familia served up a solo shot to Gary Sanchez. The Red Sox got that run back in the top of the seventh, when Verdugo plated Pham all the way from first base on a 410-foot RBI double to right-center field that would have been a home run in 16 of 30 MLB ballparks.

Verdugo’s second hit of the contest brought the Sox back to within three runs of the Twins at 8-5. Bogaerts moved Verdugo up to third base on a groundout, but Devers stranded him there by striking out.

Following a 1-2-3 seventh inning from Zack Kelly in his second big-league appearance, a resurgent Matt Barnes ran into more trouble in the eighth by walking one and giving up three straight hits to Sanchez, Arraez, and Correa. Arreaz and Correa each drove in runs with their singles, which gave the Twins a commanding 10-5 lead going into the ninth.

Down to their final three outs, Hernandez led off with a walk, but McGuire, Pham, and Verdugo went down quietly against Emilio Pagan to seal another defeat.

With the loss, the seventh in their last nine games, the Red Sox drop to 62-68 on the season. The Blue Jays won on Tuesday, so Boston now sits nine games back of Toronto for the third and final American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: Wacha vs. Ryan in series finale

The Red Sox will look to salvage something out of this series with the Twins on Wednesday night. Michael Wacha is slated to start for Boston. Fellow right-hander Joe Ryan is expected to do the same for Minnesota.

First pitch from Target Field is scheduled for 7:40 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Kutter Crawford: David Berding/Getty Images)

Brayan Bello runs out of gas in fifth inning as Red Sox drop opener to Twins, 4-2

The Red Sox opened a three-game series against the Twins on Monday by losing their second straight game. Boston fell to Minnesota by a final score of 4-2 at Target Field to drop to 62-67 on the season.

Matched up against Dylan Bunday to begin things on Monday, the Sox got on the board first in their half of the third inning. Tommy Pham reached base via a one-out single and promptly scored all the way from first on an Alex Verdugo RBI double that traveled 341 feet to left field.

Verdugo moved up to third on a Xander Bogaerts single and had the chance to tag up when Rafael Devers lined out to Max Kepler in right field. But he remained at third base and was stranded there after J.D. Martinez struck out swinging.

An inning later, Trevor Story drew a leadoff walk off Bundy and quickly went from first to third on a Franchy Cordero single that had an exit velocity of 112.7 mph. Cordero, like Story, moved up to third on another one-out double from Reese McGuire. But Pham grounded out Verdugo punched out, meaning the Sox would have to settle for one run yet again.

That would prove to be costly for Brayan Bello, who was making his fifth start and seventh overall appearance of the season for Boston. The rookie right-hander pitched well out of the gate, tossing three consecutive scoreless frames before running into some trouble in the latter half of the fourth.

Bello put himself in a tough spot when he allowed each of the first three batters he faced in the inning to reach base. He then gave up a sacrifice fly to Jake Cave, but managed to limit the damage in the fourth to just the one run despite throwing 29 pitches.

The same cannot be said about the fifth inning. After the Sox left runners on the corners in the top half, Bello issued back-to-back walks to begin the bottom half. That prompted Red Sox manager Alex Cora to give Bello the hook in favor of Matt Strahm.

Strahm, in turn, got Kepler to ground out to McGuire before yielding a bases-filling walk to Jose Miranda and striking out the pinch-hitting Kyle Garlick on six pitches. With the right-handed hitting Gio Urshela due to hit next for Minnesota, Cora swapped Strahm for John Schreiber.

Urshela won the righty-on-righty battle, as he connected on a 3-2, 83.1 mph slider from Schreiber and roped a bases-clearing, three-run double to the right field corner. That gave the Twins their first lead of the night at 4-2 and that is where the score would stay.

Bello was charged with three of those runs while Strahm was tagged for one. For Bello, the 23-year-old wound up allowing three earned runs on five hits, three walks, and two strikeouts over four-plus innings of work. He threw 84 pitches (51 strikes) in the process of raising his ERA on the season to 7.27. The Red Sox have yet to win a game he has pitched in.

Following that disastrous fifth inning, the Twins bullpen took over by limiting Red Sox hitters to one hit — a single — over the final 4 1/3 frames of Monday’s loss.

On the flip side, the two relievers Boston called up to take the place of Austin Davis and Hirokazu Sawamura pitched relatively well. Zack Kelly and Kaleb Ort have grown accustomed to following one another out of the bullpen in Worcester. On Monday, they got to experience that for the first time at the major-league level.

Kelly, making his big-league debut, needed just 18 pitches (10 strikes) to face the minimum in a scoreless sixth inning. The 27-year-old struck out the first two batters he faced before giving up a two-out single to Luis Arraez. But that was quicky negated after Arraez was gunned down at second base by McGuire.

Ort, meanwhile, scattered two walks and two strikeouts over two scoreless innings of work to keep the deficit at two runs. It proved to be for naught, though, as Twins closer Jorge Lopez made quick work of the Sox in the ninth to end it.

All told, the Red Sox went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base as a team. At 62-67, they now sit eight games back of the Blue Jays for the third and final American League Wild Card spot.

Next up: Crawford vs. Archer

The Red Sox will look to bounce back against the Twins on Tuesday night. Kutter Crawford is expected to start for Boston while fellow right-hander Chris Archer is slated to do the same for Minnesota.

First pitch from Target Field is scheduled for 7:40 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Brayan Bello: David Berding/Getty Images)

Red Sox squander plethora of scoring opportunities, fall to Blue Jays, 6-5, in 10 innings

The Red Sox were unable to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays on Thursday night. Boston fell to Toronto by a final score of 6-5 in 10 innings at Fenway Park to drop to 60-65 on the season.

Kutter Crawford, making his 11th start of the year for the Sox, allowed four earned runs on 10 hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings of work.

Two of those four runs came right away in the first inning. After giving up a one-out single to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and a two-out walk to Teoscar Hernandez, Crawford surrendered a scalding, 104.7 mph two-run double to Bo Bichette that gave the Jays an early 2-0 lead.

The Red Sox responded with two runs of their own in their half of the second. With Kevin Gausman on the mound for Toronto, Xander Bogaerts and Christian Arroyo led off with back-to-back singles. After Arroyo stole second base and Rob Refsnyder struck out, Reese McGuire got his productive night at the plate started with an RBI single that scored Bogaerts. Bobby Dalbec followed with a single of his own to drive in Arroyo and knot things up at two runs apiece.

In the third, Tommy Pham led off with a single and immediately went from first to home on a 106.7 mph RBI double off the bat of Rafael Devers. That gave the Red Sox their first lead of the night at 3-2, though it did not last long.

Crawford got the first two outs of the fourth inning with the help of a double play. The rookie right-hander then loaded the bases on two singles and a walk, which brought Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to the plate in a prime spot. Guerrero Jr. proceeded to lift a pop fly into foul territory that could have ended the inning. But Dalbec, the first baseman, failed to make the tough catch, which further prolonged the inning.

Guerrero Jr. took full advantage of Dalbec’s blunder, as the young slugger promptly roped a two-run single to right field to put the Blue Jays back up by a run at 4-3. Again, the Sox responded in the latter half of the fourth. Following a pair of singles from Refsnyder and McGuire that put runners on the corners with no outs, Dalbec drove in Refsnyder on a game-tying sacrifice fly.

Crawford came back out for the fifth and recorded the first two outs of the inning via strikeout. He then gave up a two-out double to Matt Chapman, which prompted Red Sox manager Alex Cora to hand things over to his bullpen. Crawford finished with a final pitch count of 85 (53 strikes). The 26-year-old hurler induced 11 swings-and-misses while averaging 94.6 mph with his four-seam fastball. His ERA on the season now sits at 5.30.

Matt Strahm was first used in relief of Crawford and officially closed the book on the righty’s night by punching out Raimel Tapia. The lefty then came back out for the sixth and served up a 388-foot solo shot to Danny Jansen that travelled over the Green Monster and put the Blue Jays back up, 5-4.

The Red Sox responded in their half of the sixth. After reaching base and taking second on a two-out throwing error, Dalbec moved up to third on a wild pitch from Blue Jays reliever Trevor Richards. Jarren Duran then plated him from third on an RBI double over the head of Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in left field.

Duran, however, was stranded at second base, which proved to be the ongoing theme for Boston on Thursday. After Jeurys Familia, who recorded the final two outs of the sixth, struck out the side in the top of the seventh, the Sox had two runners in scoring position with two outs in the bottom half. Franchy Cordero was deployed to pinch-hit for Refsnyder, but he fell victim to Anthony Bass to extinguish the threat and keep things knotted up at 5-5.

Following a scoreless top half of the eighth from Hirokazu Sawamura, McGuire led off the bottom half with his first career triple, which was misplayed by Hernandez in right field. Enrique Hernandez, who came on to run for McGuire, was then stranded at third base, as Adam Cimber punched out Dalbec and Pham and Tim Mayza got Devers got Devers to ground out to first.

More frustration arose in the ninth. After getting another scoreless frame from Matt Barnes, J.D. Martinez led the inning off with a hard-hit single off Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano. Alex Verdugo took over for Martinez and went from first to third on a sharply-hit double from Bogaerts.

With no outs and runners at second and third, the Red Sox were just one hit away from winning this. Toronto elected to intentionally walk Arroyo, which filled the bases for Cordero. Romero, like Bass, fanned Cordero, bringing Hernandez to the plate for the first time. Hernandez proceeded to ground into a back-breaking inning-ending 5-3 double play, sending this one into extras.

John Schreiber allowed the automatic runner at second base — in this case, Cavan Biggio — to advance to third on a Jansen groundout. He then got Springer to hit a soft groundball in the direction of Bogaerts. Bogaerts fielded the ball cleanly, but made an off-balance throw to Kevin Plawecki at home plate.

Biggio beat Plawecki’s tag to give the Blue Jays a 6-5 lead. Romano then picked up where he left off by retiring Dalbec, Duran, and Plawecki, in the bottom half of the 10th to send the Red Sox home losers. All told, they went 3-for-20 with runners in scoring position while leaving 12 runners on base as a team.

With the loss, Boston has extended its losing streak to four straight. It is now 3-13 against Toronto this season and 16-35 against divisional opponents.

Next up: Wacha vs. Chargois

Speaking of divisional opponents, the Red Sox will now welcome the Rays into town for a three-game weekend series. Veteran right-hander Michael Wacha is slated to start for Boston while fellow righty J.T. Chargois is expected to serve as an opener for Tampa Bay.

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

(Picture of Kevin Plawecki: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Brayan Bello tosses 5 solid innings and Franchy Cordero homers, but Red Sox squander multiple scoring opportunities in 3-2 loss to Blue Jays

The shorthanded Red Sox fell to the Blue Jays by a final score of 3-2 in 10 innings at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. With the loss, Boston drops to 60-64 on the season and a measly 3-12 against Toronto.

In similar fashion to Tuesday night, the Sox jumped out to an early lead on Wednesday. While matched up against Jays starter Jose Berrios, Enrique Hernandez led off the second inning by drawing a six-pitch walk. Franchy Cordero followed by crushing a two-run home run over the Green Monster.

Cordero’s sixth home run of the season traveled 350 feet and left his bat at 98.7 mph. It also gave the Red Sox — and Brayan Bello — a 2-0 lead through the first two innings of play.

Bello, making his first start for Boston since suffering a left groin strain earlier this month, allowed two earned runs on six hits and one walk to go along with seven strikeouts over five solid innings of work.

Both of those runs came in the final two innings of his start. After facing the minimum through three scoreless frames, the rookie right-hander began to run into trouble in the fourth when he issued a leadoff single to George Springer and a five-pitch walk to Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

After Lourdes Gurriel Jr. grounded into a force out that put runners on the corners, Alejandro Kirk drove in Springer with a hard-hit RBI single to left field. Bello got through the rest of the fourth unscathed with a pair of strikeouts. In the fifth, Whit Merrifield and Springer each reached base to put runners at first and second with two outs.

Following a mound visit from pitching coach Dave Bush, Bello proceeded to surrender another RBI single to Guerrero Jr. that got past a sprawling Hernandez in shallow right field. The Blue Jays knotted things up at 2-2 on Guerrero Jr.’s base hit and Bello’s night came to an end after he recorded the final out of the fifth.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 65 (46 strikes), Bello induced 13 swings-and-misses while mixing in his sinker, changeup, four-seam fastball, and slider. The 23-year-old hurler topped out at 98.7 mph with his four-seamer. He did not factor into Wednesday’s decision, though he did lower his ERA on the season by more than one full run.

In relief of Bello, Matt Barnes scattered two hits and struck out one in a scoreless sixth inning. Garrett Whitlock followed by retiring six of the seven batters he faced across two more scoreless frames.

The Red Sox lineup, meanwhile, had been completely shut down since Cordero went deep in the second inning. Berrios was able to settle into a groove and wound up striking out six in the process of twirling four shutout frames from the middle of the third inning on.

With Yimi Garcia taking over for Berrios out of the Blue Jays bullpen in the bottom of seventh, the Sox threatened by loading the bases with two outs. But Rob Refsnyder lined out to Jackie Bradley Jr. to extinguish that threat.

The same thing happened in the eighth. With two outs and the bases loaded following an intentional walk of Cordero, Anthony Bass proceeded to strike out starting shortstop Bobby Dalbec on three pitches.

With things still tied up at 2-2, Reese McGuire led off the ninth inning with a sharply-hit single. Jarren Duran proceeded to ground into 4-6-3 double play before Refsnyder grounded out to short.

Ryan Brasier took over for Whitlock in the 10th and allowed the automatic runner (Bradley Jr.) to score when he gave up a leadoff double to Springer that bounced off the Green Monster.

While Brasier limited the damage to one run, the Red Sox failed to respond in the latter half of the 10th. Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano did not allow Refsnyder to advance past second base by retiring Alex Verdugo and J.D. Martinez for the first two outs of the inning. He then intentionally walked Rafael Devers before fanning Hernandez on five pitches to end it.

All told, the Red Sox went 0-8 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday. They left 10 runners on base as a team.

Next up: Crawford vs. Gausman in series finale

The Red Sox will look to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays on Thursday night. Kutter Crawford will get the start for Boston while fellow right-hander Kevin Gausman will do the same for Toronto.

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

(Picture of Brayan Bello: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Red Sox squander late scoring chances in 3-2 loss to Yankees; Andrew Benintendi shines on both side of the ball against former team

The Red Sox came up short of another walk-off win over the Yankees at Fenway Park on Saturday night. Boston fell to New York by a final score of 3-2 to drop to 56-59 on the season.

Matched up against newly-acquired Yankees starter Frankie Montas, the Sox drew first blood in the bottom of the fourth inning. Alex Verdugo and Christian Arroyo both drew walks while Eric Hosmer singled to load the bases with one out. Jarren Duran then took a 91 mph cutter off his knee to drive in Verdugo before Reese McGuire plated Hosmer on a sacrifice fly to center field.

Kutter Crawford, meanwhile, was in the midst of making his ninth start of the season for Boston. The rookie right-hander faced the minimum through his first three innings of work. He issued a walk to Anthony Rizzo and a single to Josh Donaldson in the fourth, which put runners at the corners with two outs for Gleyber Torres.

Torres proceeded to rip a 341-foot laser in the direction of Verdugo in right field. Verdugo initially took a step inward, but corrected himself in time to make a fantastic catch on the run to strand Rizzo and Donaldson and end the inning there.

The Yankees finally got to Crawford in the fifth, however. After issuing a leadoff walk to old friend Andrew Benintendi, the righty served up a game-tying, two-run home run to Isiah Kiner-Falefa. It was a 372-foot blast over the Green Monster that was good for Kiner-Falefa’s first long ball of the season.

While that did prove to be costly, Crawford did end his night on a solid note by retiring five of the final six hitters he faced through the middle of the sixth. The 26-year-old hurler wound up surrendering the two runs on two hits, four walks, and five strikeouts over six innings. Fifty-nine of the 94 pitches he threw went for strikes and his ERA on the season now sits at 4.18.

In relief of Crawford, Hirokazu Sawamure received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Sawamura struck out two in a scoreless top of the seventh. In the latter half of the frame, the Red Sox lineup now found themselves opposed by Yankees reliever Lou Trivino.

Xander Bogaerts ripped a two-out double to left field, which prompted Yankees manager Aaron Boone to turn to Aroldis Chapman with the left-handed hitting Verdugo due to hit next for the Sox. Chapman plunked Verdugo to bring J.D. Martinez to the plate in a prime run-scoring spot. But the bat was taken out of Martinez’s hands when Chapman caught Bogaerts trying to steal third base and picked him off to extinguish the threat.

John Schreiber took over for Sawamura and put up another zero in the eighth. In the ninth, he gave up a one-out double to Beintendi that was immediately followed by a Jose Trevino infield single to put runners on the corners.

Following a mound visit from pitching coach Dave Bush, Schreiber was tasked with facing Kiner-Falefa, who came through for the Yankees yet again by dropping a perfectly-executed squeeze bunt that scored Benintendi from third to make it a 3-2 game.

Down to their final three outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Sox showed some signs of life against Scott Effross. McGuire and Pham each singled with one out to put runners at first and second for the meat of the order. But Rafael Devers grounded into a force out at second base and Bogaerts popped out to first base to end it.

All told, the Red Sox went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base as a team. Devers, Bogaerts, and Martinez went a combined 1-for-14 with two strikeouts. Pitching-wise, Schreiber was charged with his second loss of the year.

Next up: Wacha returns for rubber match

The Red Sox will activate right-hander Michael Wacha from the 15-day injured list to start Sunday’s series finale against the Yankees. Wacha has been sidelined with right shoulder inflammation since early July. Fellow righty Jameson Taillon will start for New York.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. eastern time on ESPN.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts delivers with go-ahead 3-run home run as Red Sox hold on for 4-2 win over Guardians to salvage series split

The Red Sox salvaged a series split with the Guardians at Fenway Park on Thursday night. Boston defeated Cleveland by a final score of 4-2 to improve to an even 50-50 on the season.

Kutter Crawford, making his sixth start of the season for the Sox, was solid yet again. The rookie right-hander allowed just one earned run on three hits and zero walks to go along with two strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings of work.

The lone run Crawford gave up came in the top half of the fourth. With one out in the inning, Jose Ramirez belted a 413-foot solo shot down the right field line that managed to stay to the left of Pesky’s Pole and in fair territory. The play was reviewed, but the call was upheld and the Guardians had themselves a 1-0 lead.

Besides that one blip, though, Crawford rebounded by retiring seven of the final nine batters he faced. He was pulled with two outs in the fifth inning as the left-handed hitting Josh Naylor was due to hit next for Cleveland.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 69 (49 strikes), Crawford induced a total of eight swings-and-misses while topping out at 95.7 mph with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 23 times. Although the 26-year-old did not factor into Thursday’s decision, he did lower his ERA on the season to 4.15.

In relief of Crawford, Jake Diekman received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The veteran left-hander did what he was called upon to do by getting Naylor to ground out to end the inning.

To that point in the contest, the Red Sox lineup had been completely held in check by Guardians starter Triston McKenzie, who did not give up his first hit until the fourth and took a shutout bid into the sixth.

After Jarren Duran switched places with Jeter Downs while recording the first out of the inning, Alex Verdugo moved the speedster up to second base with a line-drive single. Xander Bogaerts followed by taking a hanging 0-2 slider from McKenzie and crushing it 412 feet over the Green Monster for a go-ahead three-run blast.

Bogaerts’ eighth home run of the season left his bat at 105 mph. It also gave the Red Sox their first lead of the night at 3-1. Bobby Dalbec provided some insurance in the seventh by plating Franchy Cordero on a 103 mph RBI single to left field.

Following a scoreless seventh inning from Diekman in which he struck out two of the three Guardians he faced, Garrett Whitlock came on with the hopes of recording a six-out save.

Whitlock, working on two days of rest, yielded one run on one hit and one walk in the eighth. As the rain began to fall harder in the ninth, the righty maneuvered his way around a Naylor double to slam the door on the Guardians and pick up his third save of the year.

Next up: Bring on the Brewers

Exactly 100 games into the 2022 season, the Red Sox are a .500 team. They will next welcome the Milwaukee Brewers into town for a three-game weekend series at Fenway Park. The Brewers last visited Fenway in April 2014.

In Friday’s series opener, it will be rookie right-hander Brayan Bello getting the ball for Boston and fellow righty Brandon Woodruff doing the same for Milwaukee.

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

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/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)

Red Sox blow three-run lead, waste Kutter Crawford’s strong start in 5-4 loss to Rays

The Red Sox fell to the Rays by a final score of 5-4 at Tropicana Field on Thursday night. Boston winds up getting swept by Tampa Bay in four games to drop to 47-43 on the season.

Kutter Crawford, making his fourth start of the year for the Sox, pitched well. The rookie right-hander allowed three earned runs on six hits and zero walks to go along with six strikeouts over six-plus innings of work.

All three runs Crawford gave up came in the bottom half of the seventh. After cruising through six scoreless frames on 82 pitches, the Okeechobee, Fla. native came back out for the seventh with a 3-0 lead in hand.

Having retired each of the last 10 batters he faced, Crawford yielded a leadoff double to Jonathan Aranda to begin things in the seventh. A Christian Bethancourt single put runners on the corners for Josh Lowe, who plated the Rays’ first run on an RBI double that also chased Crawford from the game.

John Schreiber was then dispatched out of the Red Sox bullpen, inheriting a situation in which runners were at second and third and there were still two outs to get. Schreiber allowed both runners he inherited to score on a game-tying, two-run single to Taylor Walls.

That closed the book for Crawford, who finished with a final pitch count of 91 (61 strikes). The 26-year-old hurler induced a total of 13 swings-and-misses while mixing in his four-seam fastball, cutter, curveball, slider, and changeup.

After plunking Luke Raley, Schreiber served up another two-run single to Yandy Diaz that gave the Rays their first lead of the night at 5-3. Schreiber got through the rest of the seventh with the help of an Alex Verdugo outfield assist before making way for Darwinzon Hernandez.

Hernandez, making his season debut for the Sox, needed just 12 pitches (eight strikes) to strike out two and retire the side in order in the bottom of the eighth to keep the deficit at two runs.

To that point in the contest, the Boston lineup had been limited to just three runs. Rafael Devers got the scoring started by golfing his 20th home run of the season off Tampa Bay starter Drew Rasmussen in the fourth inning. Devers’ solo blast left his bat at 103.4 mph and traveled 393 feet to right field.

Fast forward to the sixth, Jarren Duran reached base on a one-out single, stole second base, and advanced to third on a Devers groundout. He then scored from third on a wild pitch that allowed J.D. Martinez to move up to second after drawing a two-out walk.

Xander Bogaerts wasted no time in driving in Martinez by roping a 102.8 mph RBI double to the right-center field gap. That gave the Red Sox a 3-0 lead, though it was not long-lived.

Down to their final three outs and trailing by two runs in the ninth, the Sox made things interesting against old friend Jalen Beeks. Bogaerts led off with a single and scored all the way from first on a hard-hit RBI double from Verdugo. But Verdugo was left at second base as the pinch-hitting Christian Vazquez popped out, Kevin Plawecki walked, the pinch-hitting Bobby Dalbec struck out, and Jeter Downs grounded out to end things there.

With the loss, the Red Sox have dropped eight of their last 10 games and are now 4-10 in the month of July.

Next up: Eovaldi returns for series opener in the Bronx

The Red Sox will head north to open a three-game weekend series against the Yankees in the Bronx on Friday night. Boston will activate right-hander Nathan Eovaldi from the injured list to start the opener. New York will counter with left-hander Jordan Montgomery.

First pitch from Yankee Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Kutter Crawford: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)