Game over: Royals 4, Red Sox 3: Royals closer Greg Holland retired the Red Sox in the ninth to earn his 32nd save and 25th in a row. James Shields bested John Lackey in this one. Both starters pitched well. The Royals scored all of their runs in the first three innings.
Alex Gordon’s solo homer in the third proved to be the difference. Gordon also made a spectacular fly slamming against the wall in foul territory on a ball hit by Jacoby Ellsbury, who went 0-for-5 after going 4-for-5 the night before. Ellsbury struck out to end the game. David Ortiz also went 0-for-4. The game was played in 2:56 before 24,935 at Kauffman Stadium.
Bottom 8th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3 – With one out, Alex Gordon doubled over Ellsbury’s head. Ellsbury just missed the catch as he rolled against the wall. The Royals loaded the bases, but Drake Britton did a nice job getting out of trouble, getting Escobar to ground into a force at home and Dyson struck out.
Top 8th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3 – Shields left after recording the first out. After a walk to Nava by Tim Colins, the next two batters – Napoli and Drew – struck out.
Bottom 7th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3 – Lackey records a strikeout and two ground balls to first base.
Top 7th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3 – Shields seems to be getting stronger. Easily takes care of the top of the Red Sox order.
Bottom 6th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3 – Lackey showed some emotion after he struck out Jarrod Dyson on a 3-2 pitch stranding two runners. Salvador Perez and Alcides Escobar reached on hits. Home plate umpire Greg Gibson had to call time with the count 3-2 to confer with the other umpires. The count was 3-2, but the scoreboard read 2-2. Gibson had to call to the scoreboard operator to have the count changed while play was disrupted.
Top 6th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3 – A Daniel Nava infield single to third base, a two-out double to right by Drew, set the stage for Lavarnway’s single down the third base line, scoring two.
Bottom 5th: Royals 4, Red Sox 1 – Top three batters in the order go down vs. Lackey.
Top 5th: Royals 4, Red Sox 1 – Alex Gordon keeps highlighting why he’s such a good player. He made a sensational catch going face-first into the left field wall in foul territory on Jacoby Ellsbury’s fly ball down the line. He then caught the very next ball off Shane Victorino, turned and fired a strike to second base where he nearly picked off Ryan Lavarnway, who led off with a single. The Sox actually had two on and nobody out after Will Middlebrooks walked, but could do no more against James Shields.
Bottom 4th: Royals 4, Red Sox 1 – Three-up, three down for Royals.
Top 4th: Royals 4, Red Sox 1 – Ortiz and Nava made quick outs against Shields, but Napoli interupted the flow with a walk on a pitch that looked like a strike. Drew popped out.
Bottom 3rd: Royals 4, Red Sox 1 – Alex Gordon hits a lined shot to right for a home run off Lackey.
Top 3rd: Royals 3, Red Sox 1 – Will Middlebrooks made solid contact with a single to left, but was erased on Jacoby Elllsbury’s double-play grounder. Shane Victorino was hit with a pitch and Dustin Pedroia popped out to second.
Bottom 2nd: Royals 3, Red Sox 1 – Mike Moustakas doubled to right, moved to third on Alcides Escobar’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Jarrod Dyson’s single to right. Dyson stole second and then was moving on the pitch where David Lough blooped a single to right scoring Dyson easily.
Top 2nd: Red Sox 1, Royals 1 – After Stephen Drew extended his hitting streak to 12 games, Ryan Lavarnway bounced into a double-play.
Bottom 1st: Red Sox 1, Royals 1 – John Lackey had trouble replicating his mechanics for the first two batters – David Lough and Eric Hosmer – and walked both. He got bailed out a tad when Billy Butler knocked into a double-play, but Alex Gordon lined a single to center to drive in the tying run. After a stolen base, Salvador Perez lined out to center.
Top 1st: Red Sox 1, Royals 0 – James Shields allowed a double to left field. Dustin Pedroia walked. Victorino stole third, his 16th swipe and scored on catcher Salvador Perez’ throwing error where the ball hit Victorino on the back side on a pick-off attempt.
We’re underway here in KC, in near-perfect conditions. Nice matchup – James Shields vs. John Lackey. We’ll be with you shortly for updates.