Red Sox starting pitcher Kutter Crawford didn’t let things unravel Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays like they did the previous day at Fenway Park for Boston when it allowed 28 runs.
After the Blue Jays revved up their offense to tag Crawford for three runs in the third inning, the 26-year-old put the brakes on Toronto to turn in another solid outing in his sixth career start in the big leagues.
Crawford allowed just those three runs in six innings while also giving up five hits and one walk to go along with four strikeouts. He certainly did his job but the Red Sox’s sluggish offense couldn’t back up Crawford’s quality start in a 4-1 loss.
“Overall, I thought it was pretty good, just that one inning,” Crawford said as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “The third inning where I gave up the three runs, they just started jumping me pretty early. Once I got started mixing in my curveball and slowing them down, things started working out.”
The right-hander yielded four straight hits to begin the third inning, but he didn’t lose his composure due to the brief hit parade. He fought back to retire 11 of the next 12 batters he faced to quiet down Toronto’s vaunted lineup.
“You just move forward,” Crawford said. “You just try leave it right there. You’re trying not to dwell on it too much. You still got pitches to make. You still got a whole game to pitch.”
Crawford matched the longest appearance of his career as he tossed six innings for the second consecutive outing. He put on the finishing touches to his performance in the sixth when after allowing a leadoff single to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., he got Alejandro Kirk to ground into a double play before striking out Bo Bichette looking.
Crawford’s emergence has been a highlight for a Red Sox club that has lost 12 out of their last 15 games, as Crawford continues to hold up his end of the bargain.
“That’s always my goal when I take the ball as a starter is to go at least six innings,” Crawford said. “That’s just the main focus and just trying to pitch to contact when I can. If I get early outs, I get early outs.”
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