BOSTON — The Red Sox entered their series opener against the Cleveland Guardians with momentum on their side and excitement in the air, but they couldn’t turn that into offense in a 6-0 loss on Patriots’ Day at Fenway Park.

Boston, which was in a scoreless tie after six innings, fell to 9-8 on the season. Cleveland improved to 10-6.

Check out the full box score here.

The Red Sox offense was limited to three hits by Cleveland right-handed starter Xzavion Curry and a trio of relievers. Boston struck out seven times through eight innings. Boston had a runner in scoring position in the fifth inning after Wilyer Abreu opened the frame with a leadoff walk and stole second base. However, Ceddanne Rafaela flied out for the final out of the inning. Boston did not have a runner in scoring position thereafter.

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The lack of offense overshadowed another impressive start from Kutter Crawford and a new defensive lineup that played well through seven innings.

Rafaela started the game at shortstop for the first time this season, a move Red Sox manager Alex Cora said was made to get Abreu into the lineup against a right-hander. It meant Jarren Duran took over for Rafaela in center field, with Abreu in right and Tyler O’Neill in left. O’Neill left the game after seven innings after he collided with Rafael Devers in the outfield.

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When the defense was together, it looked like one of the best the Red Sox have featured this season. Abreu made a home run-saving catch in the first inning and Duran contributed a pair of standout plays in the sixth. Rafaela, who Cora praised for his “elite” defensive versatility before the game, looked more than comfortable at shortstop, as well.

After defensive changes were made in the eighth inning following the O’Neill injury, the Guardians scored a pair of runs. They added a pair in the ninth, too. During those two frames, Abreu committed a throwing error and Boston middle infielders had trouble hanging onto throws, which could have turned into outs on the base paths.

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— Crawford was exceptional yet again for the Red Sox. He allowed just two hits over 5 2/3 innings as he threw 63 of his 92 pitches for strikes with six strikeouts. Crawford retired the side in order in the first, second, fourth and fifth frames, and got out of a jam in the second after a one-out triple by the Guardians’ Gabriel Arias.

— The right-handed Curry limited the Red Sox to just two hits in five innings of work. He struck out three Boston batters and threw 48 of his 73 pitches for strikes.

— Guardians third baseman Gabriel Arias (3-for-4, RBI, run) was a major factor for the Cleveland offense.

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The Red Sox and Guardians return to Fenway Park on Tuesday night for the second game of their four-game set. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET, and you can watch it live on NESN after an hour of pregame coverage.

Featured image via Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images