KANSAS CITY — The Sox arrived here having lost five of their last seven games. Kevin Youkilis went on the disabled list today and David Ortiz missed his fourth straight game. Marco Scutaro also was out.
Oh, and they were at the start of a stretch of 11 games in the next 11 days with eight on the road.
It sounds daunting. But this is the same team that started the season 2-10 and found a way to recover. According to manager Terry Francona, the recent issues don’t necessarily weigh on the players.
“We’re so far into the season. I don’t think our guys wake up and feel like that,” he said. “They come to the ballpark and I don’t think they worry about stuff like that. Just do their job. Sometimes your margin for error is a little less when you have guys out. But that’s OK.”
What about the manager, does he wake up worried?
“Well, probably a little bit,” Francona said. “But I have a lot of confidence in our ability to win.”
Josh Beckett helped that task with seven solid innings. Dustin Pedroia did his part with three hits and three RBIs. It wasn't exactly an instant classic, but 4-3 over the Royals is just fine, thanks.
“We’re just trying to win games right now,” Pedroia said. “We’re getting close to the end here. We’re all trying to do our jobs. Wherever we hit, you’ve got to try and produce
"I try and go out there, play the game hard and help us win. That’s basically it. That’s what everybody is trying to do. Just because a couple of our main guys are out doesn’t mean we change our approach.”
Once Beckett turned a lead over to Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon, they locked it down. Papelbon is making generations of future Papelbons quote comfortable.
Take a gander at his last 14 appearances:
Papelbon hasn't given up a run since July 16. After a few rocky outings in June, he has been pretty much perfect.