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Crawford works 6 solid innings and the Red Sox deal the struggling Pirates a 5th straight loss

By WES CROSBY Associated Press

PITTSBURGH - Kutter Crawford allowed one run in six strong innings and the Boston Red Sox defeated the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 on Saturday. 

Crawford (1-0, 0.66 ERA) struck out six and walked three. The 28-year-old right-hander gave up a season-high seven hits after not allowing more than three hits in any of his previous four starts. He yielded two hits in each of his last three starts and has allowed three runs in 27 1/3 innings this season. 

Boston entered the series having lost seven of 10 games before taking the first two of the three-game set. Pittsburgh lost its fifth straight game and for the eighth time in 10 games after opening the season 11-5.

Kenley Jansen picked up his fifth save, striking out the side in the ninth, including Michael A. Taylor for the second out on an automatic third strike for not being set. Pirates manager Derek Shelton was tossed after arguing the strike call on Taylor. 

Pirates ace Mitch Keller (2-2) was tagged for four runs and allowed five hits and four walks in six innings. After a lead off triple by Jarren Duran, he allowed two runs in the first inning and then faced one batter over the minimum the following four innings.
Masataka Yoshida got to Keller in the sixth, sending a hanging sinker 395 feet to right-center for a two-run homer that put the Red Sox ahead 4-1. 

Crawford allowed a runner in each of his six innings. 

Ke'Bryan Hayes led off the fourth with a double just inside the line in right for Pittsburgh. Jared Triolo laced a two-out single to left, scoring Hayes and cutting the Pirates' deficit to 2-1 before Crawford stuck out Oneil Cruz with runners on the corners.
Crawford escaped a bases-loaded jam with one out an inning later, striking out Jack Suwinski and Joey Bart.
Connor Joe hit a pinch-hit homer to lead off the eighth for the Pirates. 

Red Sox: 1B Triston Casas left with left rib discomfort after drawing a walk in the first inning. ... INF Rafael Devers (knee) and OF Tyler O'Neill (concussion) could return Tuesday against the Cleveland Guardians, manager Alex Cora said. 

LHP Martín Pérez (1-0, 2.55) will take the mound for the Pirates in the series finale on Sunday. The Red Sox have not announced a starter.

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