KANSAS CITY – Tough Opening Day at KC has just ended in a 7-1 Sox loss to the Royals.
Gil Meche, the much-maligned $55 million free-agent signing stuffed the Sox offense for 7-1/3 innings, while Curt Schilling lasted only four and allowed five runs and eight hits.
Mark Grudzielanek led the Royals attack with three hits and three RBI, all off Schilling. John Buck homered off Hideki Okajima’s first major league pitch, while Tony Pena Jr. had quite a debut for the Royals, where his father was once the American League manager of the year, with two triples.
Schilling, who is the best control pitcher in the game, even walked the first run home (Ryan Shealy).
The Red Sox were able to get their bullpen work as Javier Lopez, Okajima, Brendan Donnelly and Joel Piniero all worked.
Jason Varitek mercifully ended the contest when he flew out to right field.
Bad day: Julio Lugo 1 for 4, three strikeouts.
Good day: Dustin Pedroia: 2 hits, could have had a third if not for a great play by Pena going behind the bag. He did make a poor base-running error when he tried to stretch a single into a double and was thrown out for the third out in the second inning.
A crowd of 41,257 attended.