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Crawford’s Walk-Off Single Helps Red Sox Avoid Sweep

Carl Crawford is congratulated by Dustin Pedroia after Crawford drove in the game winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday. The Boston Red Sox defeated the Seattle Mariners 3-2.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Well it’s official, the Red Sox having a winning record (in the month of May). After a sub-par first month of the season, the Red Sox have gotten off on the right foot to start May. On Sunday afternoon, Carl Crawford hit the walk-off single to score Jed Lowrie from third base to give Boston the 3-2 victory and avoided a sweep by the Seattle Marniners.

This was big for Crawford as well as the Sox as a team. Crawford entered the game hitting only .155 for the season, well below his career-average of .294. All of his numbers have been down to start the season and he hasn’t lived up to the expectations for Red Sox Nation. After his walk-off hit Crawford felt a little better and hopes he can turn things around.

“After seeing it go through the middle, it was like a big weight off my shoulder,” said Crawford. “It’s been a while since I felt this good. It’s been tough on me; I can’t sit here and act like it hasn’t been. But you try to minimize that and keep positive thoughts in your head.”

After being up 2-0 through five innings, the Mariners were able to tie things up in the top off the sixth as a result of another tough outing for Bobby Jenks. During the bottom of the ninth with all things tied up, Lowrie hit a triple to deep right with only one out in the inning of off Jamey Wright. Marco Scutaro was next up and grounded out before bringing up Crawford with two outs and Lowrie on third. Crawford, sitting on a 1-and-1 count, singled up the middle to center field to bring in Lowrie and be the hero for the first time this season.

With the win, the Red Sox improved to 12-15 on the year and 6-6 at home. The loss brought the Mariners to 13-16 and 8-8 on the road.

The Starters

Red Sox – Tim Wakefield

Wakefield pitched a phenomenal game for his first start of the season. He went 5.2 innings, giving up one run off three hits while walking one and striking out three batters. The one earned run given up was a result of Jenks taken over for Wakefield in the sixth and allowing that runner to score.

As far as his first start of the season went, I’d say Wakefield pitched great. Now I know Seattle’s lineup isn’t the toughest but his knuckleball was dancing and hitters struggled to pick up on it. He was also matched up against Felix Hernandez and that is not an easy task. Not sure when Wakefield will make his next appearance in the rotation, but he will get his opportunities to pitch in the bullpen.

Mariners – Felix Hernandez

Hernandez also pitched very well on Sunday, then again when doesn’t he? He went 7.0 innings, giving up two earned runs off six hits while walking one and striking out a season-high 10. He did not receive a decision in the game but showed why he won the Cy Young Award last season for best pitcher in the American League.

Hernandez is 3-2 on the season and has an ERA of 3.21. He has 45 strikouts in 47.2 innings thus far this season.

Player of the Game

Red Sox – Carl Crawford

Had to give it to him. He went 2-for-4 in the game and made the one hit that counted the most. He raised his average to .168 off his two singles in the game. He also struck out and grounded out.

This could very well be the turning point for Crawford, at least everyone hopes so. He batted eighth on Sunday, in hopes that he would be more comfortable and take some stress off himself. Well it looked like it worked, at least temporarily. We all know what he can do, lets just hope he does it at some point this season.

Mariners – Jack Cust

This was a tough one because no one did anything special for Seattle. Cust finished the game going 1-for-2 with an RBI and two walks. His average of .200 isn’t very impressive and his slugging percentage of .247 is abysmal for a power hitter.

Aside from Ichiro, there is no one on this team who’s average is above .300, or even close really. The Mariners offense lacks any sort of punch but Cust does have the ability to hit the long ball. He has 102 home runs since the start of the 2007 season, and he has yet to hit one this year. If Seattle doesn’t get someone who can hit for real power, the team might be in for a very long season.

Up Next

The Sox will stay at home as the Los Angeles Angels will come to town on Monday for a four-game series. Clay Buchholz will get the nod on Monday after being pushed back a day due to sickness. The Angels are currently 16-12 and are in first in the AL West division. Two weeks ago when the two teams met up, the Sox swept the team from LA in a four-game series on the road.

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