The Boston Red Sox will look to continue to lock up their fifth straight series win as they host the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night.
After Michael Wacha got a Friday win against his former team in the opener of the three-game series, the Red Sox will turn to Kutter Crawford (1-1, 5.74 ERA), who has made four scoreless appearances of at least two innings this season, However, Saturday night will mark just his second start of the season and his first career appearance against any interleague opponent.
With Nathan Eovaldi on the injured list due to back inflammation, the 26-year-old Crawford made the most of his opportunity to start last Sunday against the Seattle Mariners, when he allowed just one hit and struck out seven across five scoreless innings. He didn’t figure in the decision in the 2-0 win.
“His stuff was really good,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Crawford following his last start. “He made some good pitches on two strikes. He was under control, throwing hard.”
Crawford’s only other career start came in 2021. He will look to follow Wacha’s success — 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball — from a 6-5 Friday win in which the Cardinals stranded the tying run on second base after scoring four runs with two outs in the ninth inning.
Boston has won 12 of its past 15 games.
“We put ourselves in bad situations to get that 27th out (on Friday),” Cora said. “But overall, we ran the bases well, played good defense. We pitched well. So like I’ve been saying all along, we have a good baseball team. We do.”
Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to a season-long 10 games. Second baseman Trevor Story, whose 44 RBIs lead the team, broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run single in the fourth inning and made outstanding defensive plays.
“(Playing second is) obviously so new to me — just the angles and everything,”Story told NESN. “But honestly, with each night, I’m feeling better and better about it — trying to be athletic and use my history playing (shortstop).”
St. Louis is slated to pitch Dakota Hudson (4-3, 3.29), a right-hander who has worked seven complete innings in each of his past three starts.
Hudson suffered his first loss since May 3 in his most recent start, allowing nine hits and six runs in a 7-6 los to the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. He had allowed one or fewer runs in his previous three outings and will look to return to the win column during his first-ever start against the Red Sox.
Hudson threw just 56 of his 95 pitches for strikes but he was able to remain on the mound for the long haul after his defense turned four double plays.
“Just not enough strikes,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said after the loss to the Reds. “It’s super simple. When he’s in the zone, he’s really good. When he’s not, too many free passes and opportunities for the other team to do what they did.”
Hudson could be throwing to a new batterymate as Ivan Herrera was added from Triple-A Memphis on Friday. He is expected to start once before the Cardinals leave Boston after soon-to-be 40-year-old Yadier Molina was placed on the 10-day IL with right knee inflammation.
“He goes about his business in a very serious manner,” Marmol said of Herrera. “He cares a ton. … The key to his arrival is going to be controlling the speed of the game, just slowing it down.”
–Field Level Media