Game over: Royals 4, Red Sox 3 Down to their last three outs, the Red Sox put the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on second, but failed to capitalize on the precious scoring opportunity in Wednesday night's 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals before a Kauffman Stadium crowd of 18,339.
Darnell McDonald entered the game to pinch run for Cody Ross after he reached on a leadoff single to right off closer Jonathan Broxton. Jarrod Saltalamacchia then drew a walk. Marlon Bryd appeared to get hit by a pitch when he squared up for a bunt. Despite Bobby Valentine's protestations, plate umpire Jeff Nelson ruled Byrd did not get hit by a pitch.
Byrd wound up getting down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Ryan Sweeney came up and engaged Broxton for eight pitches, fouling off the last three, before he lined to left on the ninth pitch for the second out. Mike Aviles hit a game-ending groundout to short as the Royals closed out the three-game set, 2-1.
Bottom of 8th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3 The Sox got another huge play at the plate for the second time in as many nights when Irving Falu was thrown out at home attempting to score from first base on Chris Getz's double to left.
Ross relayed to Aviles who fired to Saltalamacchia for the inning-ending putout.
Top of 8th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3 Sox were down to their last three outs after going down 1-2-3 against Crow with Ortiz lining to center, Gonzalez striking out, and Middlebrooks flying to right.
Bottom of 7th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3 Alex Gordon hit a one-out double to right, and advanced to third on Billy Butler's soft groundout to the mound, but wound up getting stranded there when Mortensen got Francouer to fly to center.
Top of 7th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3 After getting the first two outs of the inning, Bruce Chen allowed a single to left to Aviles, prompting Royals manager Ned Yost to summon Aaron Crow from the bullpen. Crow got Pedroia to fly to center to end the inning.
Chen's line: 6.2 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 5 K, 0 BB, 103 pitches (68 strikes).
Bottom of 6th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3 Mortensen has a 1-2-3 inning, getting the first two outs on fly balls to right.
Top of 6th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3 Another 1-2-3 inning for Chen, who has retired the eight batters he's faced. Clayton Mortensen has relieved Lester (5.0 IP, 4 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 3 K) in the bottom of the sixth.
Bottom of 5th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3 Lester needed only 16 pitches to retire the side on three consecutive groundouts to third. He has now thrown 108 pitches, 69 strikes, through five innings.
Top of 5th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3 Nothin' doin' for the Sox, who went down 1-2-3 on seven pitches. Lester will pitch the bottom of the fifth.
Bottom of 4th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3 Alcides Escobar ripped an RBI double to center to score Irving Falu, who reached on a leadoff double to left and advanced on Getz's sacrifice bunt, with the go-ahead run.
Lester got Dyson to ground to short, hit Gordon with a pitch, and then struck out Butler (swinging) with his 92d pitch of the game.
Top of 4th: Royals 3, Red Sox 3: The Sox appeared poised to break the tie when Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled down the line to right and Byrd reached after getting hit by a pitch.
Both wound up stranded when Sweeney struck out swinging and Aviles grounded to second.
Bottom of 3d: Royals 3, Red Sox 3: Lester benefitted from some great defense when he started out the inning by giving up a sharply struck single to center by Billy Butler, then got Francoeur to ground to third for the force on Butler at second.
Lester got Giavotella and Brayan Pena to fly to right, with Sweeney making a nice sliding grab for the inning-ending out. Through three innings, Lester has thrown 70 pitches. The bullpen will be going to work shortly.
Top of 3d: Royals 3, Red Sox 3: The Red Sox tied it after loading the bases against Chen, who led off the inning by giving up back-to-back singles to Byrd and Ryan Sweeney. After Aviles flew to left, Dustin Pedroia reached on a flare to right that fell just inside the line, loading the bases for David Ortiz.
Chen struck out Ortiz for the second time in the game, leaving the bases juiced for Adrian Gonzalez, who cleared them with his double to right that tied it, 3-3.
Bottom of 2d: Royals 3, Red Sox 0: An uneventful innning for Lester, as he gave up a leadoff single to Chris Getz, then got Alcides Escobar to ground to third for the force on Getz at second, struck out Dyson (looking), and induced Gordon to hit a pop foul to Aviles.
Top of 2d: Royals 3, Red Sox 0: Chen did not allow the Red Sox to respond, retiring the side 1-2-3, sandwiching a pair of strikeouts of Middlebrooks and Saltamacchia between Ross's groundout to the mound. Chen now has retired the last six batters he's faced, throwing 33 pitches (24 for strikes).
Bottom of 1st: Royals 3, Red Sox 0: After getting out the first two batters he faced, Jon Lester scuffled to get the third out, giving up three runs on two hits and one walk. After Billy Butler walked and Jeff Francoeur singled to left, Sox center fielder Marlon Byrd misplayed Johnny Giavotella's fly ball, allowing Butler to score KC's first run.
With two out and men on the corners, catcher Brayan Pena hit a fly to left that Cody Ross appeared to snag for the final out. After taking 2-1/2 steps, the ball came out of Ross's glove, allowing Pena to get a two-run double. Sox manager Bobby Valentine argued with third base umpire Chris Guccione that Ross had caught the ball, but his plea fell upon deaf ears.
Lester got out of the inning after getting Irving Falu to ground to third.
Top of 1st: Red Sox 0, Royals 0: After Mike Aviles hit a leadoff single to left off Bruce Chen, the Red Sox wound up stranding him when Chen retired the next three batters.
Pregame Greetings from Kauffman Stadium where the Red Sox (12-17) will attempt to rebound from a 6-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals (10-19) Tuesday night. LHP Jon Lester (1-2, 4.62 ERA) will take the mound for the Sox and oppose winless LHP Bruce Chen (0-4, 4.98 ERA). Sad news reached the clubhouse before the game about the death of Carl Beane. The 59-year-old public address announcer at Fenway Park suffered a heart attack and was killed in a one-car accident Wednesday near Sturbridge, Mass. He will be missed by Red Sox Nation.