Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson delivered the game-changing hit in the second inning in a 6-1 win over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.

But Henderson’s grand slam wasn’t the at-bat Red Sox manager Alex Cora and starting pitcher Kutter Crawford lamented the most.

It was actually the at-bat right before Henderson when Crawford issued a two-out free pass to light-hitting catcher James McCann to extend the inning, which gave Henderson the opportunity to cash in with the bases loaded.

“I think the walk to McCann was the one,” Cora told reporters. “He’s not trying to walk him of course. But put us in a bad spot.”

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Crawford had a feeling at the moment that the crucial walk could come back to hurt him. It did in a big way as moments later, Henderson launched a hanging sweeper 422 feet to right-center field.

“Said it time and time again, two-out walks always find a way to bite you in the ass and obviously it did today,” Crawford told reporters. “Didn’t make a good pitch to Gunnar and he put a good swing on it. Just got to be better with my execution.”

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What made matters worse for Crawford is McCann is one of the few hitters in Baltimore’s talented lineup that doesn’t pose a real threat. McCann is batting just .198 on the season and was slotted in at the No. 9 spot in the order. But after throwing a first-pitch strike, Crawford threw four straight balls just off the edges of the plate to walk McCann.

“Trying to pound the zone,” Crawford said. “Obviously, lost it a few times up and in and then tucked a couple of them away. But he’s the nine-hole hitter, I’ve got to go right at him.”

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All five of the runs Crawford surrendered in his outing came in the second inning. He ended up tossing six innings, allowing those five runs on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts.

But the damage inflicted in the second inning was too much for the Red Sox to overcome with Orioles ace Corbin Burnes turning in a dominant performance on the mound.

“It took everything away from us,” Cora said. “Hit batsman, base hit, the walk to McCann — that’s the one. And then we’re facing one of the best hitters in the big leagues and he got a sweeper up in the zone and put a good swing on it. … That inning just got away from us and they did what they do.”

And that inning certainly stained what otherwise was a solid showing from Crawford, who now has let up five or more runs in back-to-back starts.

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“Frustrating outing because I thought mechanically and pitch quality was a little bit better,” Crawford said. “I thought the fastball was a little better. But just didn’t execute pitches when I needed to.”

Here are more notes from Wednesday’s Red Sox-Orioles game:

— The Red Sox haven’t found much success against the best teams in MLB this season. According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, the Red Sox hold a 5-16 record and are 0-7 in series against teams who are at least five games above the .500 mark.

— Connor Wong continues to be a source of offense for the Red Sox. He collected two hits, including a bunt single, to push his batting average to .329.

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— It’s hard for any manager, even Cora, to not admire the talent of the Orioles. Baltimore sat in second place in the American League East after the win with a 35-19 record while the Red Sox stand eight games behind the Orioles in third with a mark of 28-28.

“They’re a complete team,” Cora said. “They do a lot of good stuff and they keep getting better.”

— The Red Sox head back to Fenway Park where they welcome in the Detroit Tigers for a four-game series starting Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET and you can watch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.

Featured image via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images