Red Sox Notes: Allen Craig Struggling To Gain Traction Since Returning

Allen CraigAnthony Ranaudo received his first taste of major league defeat Wednesday.

Ranaudo, who entered his fourth Red Sox start with a 3-0 record, suffered the loss in the middle game of Boston’s series against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The Red Sox’s offense didn’t help.

The Red Sox were held to six hits by Hiroki Kuroda and Co. in a 5-1 loss. It was a disappointing effort for the Sox after such an encouraging series-opening win Tuesday night.

Let’s break down some important tidbits from the loss.

– Ranaudo allowed three earned runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out one, walked two and threw 90 pitches (55 strikes).

Ranaudo retired eight in a row at one point between the second and fourth innings. He also minimized the damage following a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the fifth inning. The big mistake was an 0-2 fastball in the second inning that Brian McCann jacked out of the yard for a two-run homer.

“We were trying to go in and I realized it was pretty elevated,” Ranaudo told reporters after the game. “I saw it leaking back a little back. He put some pretty good swings on fastballs two pitches before that. I was trying to move his hands a little bit. If it was up a little bit, it was going to be OK, but if it didn’t run back, I think it would have served its purpose a little bit more. Obviously, he did a pretty good job with it.”

Ranaudo said Wednesday’s start was the most comfortable he’s felt with the Red Sox. The results certainly weren’t anything too eye-popping, though.

Ranaudo’s ERA now sits at 4.63 through four starts.

– Kuroda was excellent in shutting down the Red Sox’s offense.

Kuroda allowed only four hits over seven innings of one-run ball. He struck out eight and didn’t walk anyone.

The Red Sox struck out 12 times total in the contest.

– The Red Sox turned a 2-6-3-4-5-3 double play to end the first inning. It was the product of a failed double-steal attempt by the Yankees with Derek Jeter and Brett Gardner on second base and first base, respectively.

– McCann, who went 4-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs, has punished the Red Sox all year.

He’s hitting .375 (18-for-48) with five homers and 11 RBIs in 14 games against Boston this season.

– Daniel Nava led the way for Boston with two hits, but he was inexplicably picked off first base in the fifth inning.

Nava led off with a single into center field. Kuroda then picked him off on a play in which Nava lackadaisically attempted to return to the first base bag without diving.

– Brock Holt knocked in Boston’s only run with an RBI double in the sixth inning.

– Alex Wilson was touched up for two runs in the seventh inning.

– Allen Craig struck out four times, continuing his disappointing start to his Red Sox tenure.

Craig, acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in the John Lackey trade, battled a foot injury immediately upon joining the Red Sox. Now, with his playing time not yet consistent, he’s struggling to gain traction.

Craig is hitting .111 (4-for-36) with 15 strikeouts in 10 games with the Red Sox.

The Red Sox obviously were hoping a change of scenery would enable the slugger to return to his previous All-Star form. But that hasn’t yet been the case.

– Rusney Castillo went 1-for-3 with Double-A Portland. He collected an infield single, stole a base and scored a run while playing six innings in center field.

Photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports

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