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Red Sox 3, Orioles 1, End 4: Carl Crawford Comes Through Twice, Gives Sox Lead

It took until September, but Carl Crawford has finally pushed his OPS up over .700. He’s chosen a good time to do so, to, as his two big hits are the biggest reasons that the Sox currently have a 3-1 lead over the Orioles.

The first came leading off the third inning. Shooting an 0-1 fastball into right field and to the wall, Crawford sped around the bases and ended up on third, essentially ensuring the Sox would at least come away from the inning with a tie—which they did, on Jason Varitek’s ground ball out.

The Sox didn’t make the best of that situation, given an inning-ending double play with men on the corners, but they did take advantage of a pair of hits in the fourth from Adrian Gonzalez and Dustin Pedroia. While Josh Reddick’s ground ball ddin’t bring anyone in, leaving the Sox with two outs, Carl Crawford stepped up and didn’t bother waiting for the second pitch this time. The first one ended up being bounced off the Monster for a double, bringing both runs in to score and giving the Sox the 3-1 lead.

Josh Beckett, meanwhile, has gotten back to retiring hitters, and doing so fast. The low pitch count that’s resulted is good news for a Sox team that has had to throw far too many bullpen innings over the last few games.