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Red Sox caught up in the hoopla of potentially historic Celtics run

Alex Cora isn't a recent convert to Celtics fandom, regularly taking in games at TD Garden as he did in 2018, from left, with Tommy McLaughlin, Edward "Pookie" Jackson, and Kenyatta Gomez.Jim Davis

PHOENIX — Long after the Red Sox had finished their game on Saturday night, several players and the entire coaching staff lingered in the visitors’ clubhouse at Chase Field to ride the emotional roller coaster of the Celtics’ buzzer-beating victory over the Heat in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.

“We’re following, man. It’s fun,” said Sox manager Alex Cora. “I tell these guys from the get-go that you have to enjoy the whole experience. This city is different [when it comes to sports], with all due respect to the other ones.”

Cora and several members of the team are making arrangements to attend Game 7 on Memorial Day — an offday for the Sox in Boston at the conclusion of a nine-game, 11-day road trip.


“They’re one win away from pulling this off and [Monday] should be crazy. Kind of like Game 4 [of the 2021 ALDS] against the Rays when we had the Marathon in the morning and then the game at night,” said Cora. “It’s going to be a lot of beverages and then Game 7. That’s going to be nuts.”

Crawford not alarmed

A day after Kutter Crawford exited the game after getting struck in the right ankle by a liner, the righthander — who wouldn’t have been a consideration to pitch on Sunday, one day after logging 2⅓ innings — said he expected to be available when the Sox host the Reds on Tuesday.

“A little sore, a little tender, but nothing alarming. Kind of just normal bruise, contusion stuff,” said Crawford. “We’ll obviously see how it feels day to day, but I don’t think it’s something that’s serious to keep me off the field.”

Crawford leaves Saturday's game after being plunked on the right ankle in the eighth inning.Chris Coduto/Getty

Crawford made a web gem on the play that led to his injury. The ball ricocheted back across the foul line, and Crawford jumped up from the ground, engaged in a Matrix-like dodge of hitter Gabriel Moreno, barehanded the ball, and flipped it to first for the out while falling over. He was intrigued to learn after the play, however, that he could have run over Moreno in pursuit of the ball.


“I was avoiding contact because I didn’t want it to be interference, but I was informed as long as I’m going for the ball, I have the right of the path,” he said. “Next time I might not pull up on the brakes. We’ll see.”

Devers back in lineup

Rafael Devers returned to the lineup after missing two games with tightness in his right calf. The third baseman went 0 for 5. “I feel overall very good. I felt good at the plate as well, good timing,” Devers said through a translator. “Just, things didn’t go my way as expected but everything else is fine.” . . . Christian Arroyo (hamstring) played a third straight rehab game with Triple A Worcester, going 2 for 4 with a double. The infielder is 4 for 10 with a walk and two strikeouts in his WooSox assignment. He’ll be examined at Fenway on Monday, but Cora believed Arroyo may need a few more games in the minors before he’s activated.

Alex Speier can be reached at Follow him @alexspeier.