The Boston Red Sox got more production from two of their top performers in recent weeks from Wilyer Abreu and Tanner Houck. That was still not enough in a 4-1 loss to the Cleveland Guardians on Tuesday night.

Houck took the ball against Cleveland for the second time in six days. After throwing a masterful shutout against the Guardians at Fenway Park, the righty started another outing with six more scoreless innings. Houck fought through a few inconsistencies in this start, allowing two runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Stuff-wise, Houck looked solid again for the Red Sox.

“He’s earning the right to go deep into games,” Cora told reporters after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “He was throwing the ball well. (It was) the split that he hung and a slider down the middle, then that was it. Overall, another good outing.”

“All in all, it was an OK start,” Houck told reporters after the loss, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “I think that my 0-2 pitches and putaway pitches weren’t as well executed as my last outing. I feel like I made some pretty decent adjustments with how I was feeling compared to the bullpen.”

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Houck’s only run support came from a Wilyer Abreu solo shot, his second homer of the road trip. The Red Sox outfielder stayed in rhythm after a massive weekend against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“There’s a reason he’s playing,” Cora shared. “We’re going to keep talking about this kid. He’s good. His approach is really good. He understands what he needs to do at the plate to be successful. He’s a good defender. He’s a good baserunner.”

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Unfortunately for Abreu and Houck, walks and baserunning blunders hurt the Red Sox. The pitching staff issued six walks while Rob Refsnyder and Connor Wong got caught on the base paths that stopped potential scoring chances in a low-scoring affair.

“You cannot give the opposition more than 27 outs and we cannot take away from (ourselves),” Cora said.

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Here are more notes from Tuesday’s Red Sox-Guardians matchup:

— The seventh inning marked the end of 15 consecutive scoreless innings for Houck dating back to his last start.

— Abreu stayed red-hot for the Red Sox, driving in his sixth run in five games with his sixth-inning blast.

— The Red Sox snapped a three-game winning streak after sweeping the Pittsburgh Pirates over the weekend.

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— Boston falls to 1-4 against Cleveland in 2024.

— The Red Sox had two runners thrown out on the base paths, leading the sport with 11 runners caught stealing, per NESN stats.

“It sucks that we got burned twice there, but it’s part of the game,” Cora added.

— Boston will have Rafael Devers back in the lineup tomorrow, Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. Devers has played in just 13 of the first 24 games.

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— The Red Sox and Guardians continue the series in Cleveland on Wednesday. Cooper Criswell gets the start for the Red Sox. First pitch is set for 6:10 p.m. ET. You can catch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN+.

Featured image via David Richard/USA TODAY Sports Images