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Jarren Duran, Red Sox look to stay hot vs. Reds

Jarren Duran and the visiting Boston Red Sox can extend their winning streak to six games Friday when they open a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds.

Boston’s streak began with two victories against the New York Yankees and includes a three-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Red Sox collected at least 10 hits in each of the five wins.

Boston completed its sweep against Toronto with a 7-3 victory on Wednesday night. Duran extended his hitting streak to 10 games when he hit a solo home run in the win. He’s batting .364 with a .997 OPS during the 10-game streak.

Duran also had two of Boston’s five stolen bases during the victory. The Red Sox enter Friday’s game leading the American League in stolen bases (76).

“We can see how much (being aggressive on the bases) affects the other team,” Duran told NESN. “They gotta plan for it. They gotta quick pitch. It might get the pitcher in an uncomfortable position to have to slide step and stuff — just little things like that. They might miss a pitch. It’s really gonna help us as a team.”

The Red Sox have won seven of their last eight games and are five games above .500 for the first time since May 1, when they were 18-13.

“We can do a lot of stuff,” Boston manager Alex Cora said following Wednesday’s win against the Blue Jays. “I’m very proud of the guys to (win series) against the Phillies and the Yankees and get greedy. To come here and play three great games that were fun to watch. We’ll enjoy the off day and get ready for Cincinnati.”

Right-hander Kutter Crawford (3-6, 3.54 ERA) is scheduled to get the start for Boston on Friday. Crawford recorded a season-high nine strikeouts in his last start, a 9-3 victory over the Yankees. He allowed three runs on three hits in six innings, after he had surrendered at least four runs in five of his last six starts.

Crawford has pitched two-thirds of an inning against Cincinnati during his career. He faced five batters and allowed a run on one hit and walked two.

The Reds have lost four of their last five games and have been struggling to score. Cincinnati failed to put up more than two runs in any of its three games against Pittsburgh earlier this week.

The Reds were held to two hits — singles by Jonathan India and Santiago Espinal — and failed to have a runner reach third base during Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to the Pirates. It was the fifth time they were shut out this season, and the 24th time they were held to two runs or fewer.

“It’s not going to get any easier,” Reds manager David Bell said. “We’re going up against tough pitching and it’s our job to adjust to that and find ways to get it done. But I love how our team is continuing to fight through this and grind, and we know that’s going to pay off.”

Left-hander Andrew Abbott (5-6, 3.42) is listed as Cincinnati’s probable starter. He has never faced the Red Sox.

Abbott is coming off a 3-1 loss to Milwaukee on Saturday. After throwing four scoreless innings, he walked the No. 8 and No. 9 hitters in the fifth before giving up a three-run home run to Joey Ortiz later in the inning.

He allowed three runs on four hits, walked three and struck out three.

–Field Level Media

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