Refsnyder Ignites Late Rally for Red Sox to End Four-Game Slide

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Refsnyder Ignites Late Rally for Red Sox to End Four-Game Slide

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Crawford strikes out seven, gives up two runs over six innings in opener vs. Texas

ARLINGTON — After a disappointing walk-off loss on Sunday, the Red Sox unleashed some late-inning magic of their own to secure a 4-2 victory over the Rangers on Monday night at Globe Life Field, snapping a four-game skid.

Boston’s offense struggled early in the game but managed a three-run rally in the eighth inning, which turned the tide in their favor and handed the Rangers a series-opening loss.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora expressed his satisfaction with the comeback win, especially after a series of close one-run games over the past week.

“It was a good one,” said Cora. “We’ve been playing good baseball, and we’ve faced some tough opponents. We won’t give up; we want to win as many games as possible.”

The Red Sox’s never-say-die spirit shone brightly in the crucial eighth inning. Luis Urías started the inning with a walk, followed by Connor Wong’s double to left field, advancing Urías to third base. Despite Ceddanne Rafaela striking out, Rafael Devers, who had been named AL Player of the Week earlier in the day, was intentionally walked to load the bases.

With the bases loaded, Rob Refsnyder stepped up and delivered a go-ahead two-run single off Rangers lefty Will Smith, giving the Red Sox their first lead of the game.

Cora on 4-2 win for Red Sox Sep 18, 2023 · 1:44 Cora on 4-2 win for Red Sox. Photo Cradit: mlb.com

Refsnyder emphasized that he didn’t take offense to the intentional walk issued to Devers, recognizing his teammate’s offensive prowess. Instead, he remained focused on contributing to his team’s success.

“I mean, I get it,” said Refsnyder. “[Devers] is our best player by far. He was one of the only guys to hit [Rangers starter Jordan] Montgomery today. My at-bats were awful before [the go-ahead single], so I was just fortunate to come through. It felt really good, honestly.”

Refsnyder’s clutch two-run hit continued his impressive performance against left-handed pitchers this season, boasting a .310/.429/.397 slash line against southpaws. Furthermore, of his 28 RBIs this season, 21 have been collected against left-handed pitchers.

In the same inning, just one batter after Refsnyder’s crucial hit, Adam Duvall added a sacrifice fly, further extending Boston’s lead to two runs.

Adam Duvall’s sacrifice fly Sep 18, 2023 · 0:28 Adam Duvall’s sacrifice fly. Photo Cradit: mlb.com

The Red Sox’s resilient late-game comeback was complemented by an impressive performance from right-handed starter Kutter Crawford, who struck out seven batters and conceded only two runs on four hits over six innings.

Crawford, 27, has faced challenges in pitching deep into games but managed to complete six innings for just the fourth time in 21 starts this season. Although he surrendered a leadoff home run to Marcus Semien on the game’s first pitch, Crawford settled into a strong rhythm, retiring 14 consecutive batters at one point.

“It felt really good,” Crawford expressed. “After grinding through the last few starts, I made an adjustment yesterday, and it showed out there today. I was able to command the baseball and attack the zone better.”

Crawford clarified that he didn’t undergo any dramatic changes in his mechanics but made minor adjustments to his pre-game routine to enhance his endurance.

“It’s just a small activation technique to prepare my body and activate my glute for better stability,” Crawford explained. “This allowed my lower half to function more effectively, and it showed in how I was able to control my pitches.

Kutter Crawford strikes out seven Sep 18, 2023 · 1:10 Kutter Crawford strikes out seven. Photo Cradit: mlb.com

Crawford’s impressive performance came as no surprise to his teammates, who recognized his unwavering work ethic and dedication.

“He works his tail off,” emphasized Refsnyder. “He’s one of the hardest workers in the clubhouse. While he did give up the home run to Semien, who is an exceptional hitter, he settled down and delivered an outstanding performance thereafter.

“The Rangers possess a formidable offense, evident from their high RBI and home run numbers, signifying their explosiveness. So, for Crawford to excel in their home ballpark is truly impressive. It was a courageous display, and I couldn’t be happier for him.

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