Boston Red Sox pitcher Kutter Crawford probably doesn’t enjoy when manager Alex Cora hits the top step of the dugout, because it usually signals that the end of his outing is near.

It signified something different in Saturday’s win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, though.

Cora moved toward the mound with purpose. Crawford, who’d just escaped a bases loaded jam in the inning prior, sat in a sticky situation with two outs in the sixth inning as he’d already thrown 96 pitches, surrendered seven hits and had just walked a man.

Crawford held on to the ball hoping for a chance to finish what he’s started, and got exactly that.

Story continues below advertisement

“This is your last hitter,” Cora told his 28-year-old starter. “Go get him.”

Crawford received the message loud and clear, rewarding Cora’s confidence with a huge strikeout and a burst of emotion.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

“I don’t know if he’s come out and not taken me out, so I was a little disappointed in that situation,” Crawford admitted, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “I’m the starting pitcher, so I try to go six innings every time. I try to take up as many innings as I can and save the bullpen, and when I get in those situations the competitor in me comes out.

Story continues below advertisement

“I want to finish what I started. I think when I saw him coming out a little part of me thought he was taking me out, but he just spoke some words of encouragement.”

Here are more notes from Saturday afternoon’s matchup between the Red Sox and Pirates:

— Triston Casas left the game after just one plate appearance, with Pablo Reyes eventually replacing him in the batting order. The Red Sox described it as “rib discomfort” during the game, but Cora sounded concerned when speaking to the media.

“We’ll know more over the course of the night,” Cora relayed.

Story continues below advertisement

— Kenley Jansen recorded his 425th save in this one, passing John Franco for fifth most in MLB history. Francisco Rodríguez (437) is next on the list, but the 36-year-old isn’t worried about reaching milestones.

“I can’t let that be a distraction, to be honest with you,” Jansen told NESN’s Jahmai Webster postgame. “If you’re going to start chasing milestones you’re going to get distracted, and that’s when things can go wrong.”

— Jansen had a smooth outing, receiving some help from Pirates outfielder Michael A. Taylor who was called out on a pitch-clock violation. Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton was tossed for arguing the decision, and had a pretty good point considering Taylor asked for time and was not granted it.

— The Red Sox have been at their best away from Fenway Park this season, going 9-3 in their first stretch of road games.

Story continues below advertisement

— The Red Sox and Pirates will meet in the finale of their three-game set Sunday at PNC Park. It’ll be the final game between the two teams this season, with first pitch scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET, following an hour of pregame coverage on NESN.

Featured image via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images