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Red Sox’s Alex Cora Backs Kutter Crawford After Allowing Costly Homer Vs. Angels

The Boston Red Sox were in dire need of offensive production during Monday night’s series opener with the Los Angeles Angels. But it never arrived.

That positioned Boston and Los Angeles to go head-to-head in a pitchers duel, leaving little to no room for mistakes to be made after Tanner Houck did his part and positioned the Red Sox for a win. Kutter Crawford entered and tossed two innings of relief, but committed the game-deciding mistake, leaving an 83 mph changeup over the plate against Angels outfielder Mickey Moniak in the bottom of the eighth inning, which sent Boston to the loss column.

“(Crawford was) excellent. I mean, one bad pitch, that’s it,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “(Velocity) was good, just left one changeup up in the zone and the kid put a good swing on it. But overall, really good.”

Crawford and Houck did combine to strikeout 11 hitters while keeping the damage limited to just two runs, however, a drought from Boston’s offense doomed the Red Sox for a second straight loss after kicking off the West Coast road trip 2-0.

The Red Sox combined for just four hits, and created only two opportunities with runners in scoring position, recording just a single extra-base hit — a double from Connor Wong in the eighth inning. Boston’s No. 5 through No. 8 hitters also combined to go 0-for-12 with five strikeouts against Los Angeles pitching — not giving Boston’s pitching much support to work with on the mound.

Boston will get a redemption shot at evening up the series before the finale on Tuesday night. First pitch from Angel Stadium is scheduled for 9:38 p.m. ET.

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