Game over: Red Sox 8, Royals 6
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Bottom of the ninth: Red Sox 8, Royals 6
Papelbon in to pitch. But the bigger story is that Jacoby Ellsbury just left the game after a collision in left field with Adrian Beltre. He walked off holding his ribs on the left side.
More on this after the game.
Bottom of the 8th: Red Sox 8, Royals 6
Ramon Ramirez has left the circle of trust.
He allowed two singles and a long home run by Guillen, his second of the day. Now Bard is in and they’ll need Papelbon.
It’s games like today that will lead to problems tomorrow as the bullpen will be more worn down than it should be. It started with Buchholz and Ramirez only made it worse.
Top of the 8th: Red Sox 8, Royals 3
Delcarmen walked Maier but got Callaspo to line into a double play to end the inning. Solid two innings for Manny as the game speeds up a bit. Ramon Ramirez warming up now.
Middle of the 7th: Red Sox 8, Royals 3
The Sox have put the offense away now and are in “get this over with” mode. Delcarmen out for another inning.
Top of the 7th: Red Sox 8, Royals 3
Delcarmen in for Buchholz and retired the side in order aided by a nice leaping catch at the wall by Ellsbury to take at least a double away from Betancourt.
Top of the 6th: Red Sox 8, Royals 3
Funny moment in the top of the 5th. With Mike Cameron on first after a walk, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a line drive that first baseman Billy Butler caught. But the force of the shot knocked him down. Still, he was able to get up and double off Cameron to end the inning.
Buchholz allowed his fifth leadoff hit of the game but got a double play. He has thrown 94 pitches and the Sox have Manny Delcarmen warning up. That could be it for Buchholz.
Top of the 5th: Red Sox 8, Royals 3
The Red Sox have given Clay Buchholz leads of 4-0, 5-1 and now 8-3 but he’s pitching like he’s terrified of the Royals.
Working too slowly and without any seeming faith in his stuff, Buccholz has allowed four leadoff hits and thrown first-pitch strikes to only eight of the 20 batters he has faced. Buchholz has thrown 83 pitches already.
Poor performance. Scott Atchison warming up. Be interesting to see if Francona allows Buchholz back out for the fifth inning.
Top of the 4th: Red Sox 8, Royals 3
Dustin Pedroia just hit his third home run of the season, a drive to left. He has two homers in as many games. He didn’t get to three homers last season until July 5, 217 at-bats into the season.
Meanwhile, Martinez doubled to right to drive Meche out of the game. Robinson Tejada walked Youkilis but struck out David Ortiz. Beltre added to the damage with a two-run double.
Bottom of the 3rd: Red Sox 5, Royals 3
The Sox went in order in the top of the inning. Now Buchholz is struggling. Podsednik singled, stole second went to third on a bunt and scored on a single by Callaspo. Butler also has singled.
Buchholz so far: 2.1 5 3 2 0 1 and he’s closing fast on 50 pitches. Daisuke Matsuzaka is going to start knocking on the door soon and the Sox will need to make an adjustment to the rotation. Buchholz will make it easy on them if he keeps pitching like this.
Top of the 3rd: Red Sox 5, Royals 2
Hope you had the over. Guillen homered off Buchholz, who then retired the side in order including making a nice play himself to retire Getz on a liner back to the mound.
Middle of the 2nd: Red Sox 5, Royals 1
The Sox got the run back but missed the knockout punch. Ellsbury doubled with one out and scored on a single to center by Pedroia that Ankiel bobbled. Martinez and Youkilis walked to load the bases before Ortiz fanned swing on a 3-2 pitch. Betre struck out as well.
Meche has thrown 64 pitches. He’s not long for this one. Clay Buchholz, you’re up by four runs in the second inning facing the Royals. Inexcusable not to go at least six.
Top of the 2nd: Red Sox 4, Royals 1
Bill Hall is playing shortstop for the first time since Oct. 1, 2006. It shows.
With a runner on third and one out, Alberto Callaspo popped to left. Hall went back into left field on a ball that was Ellsbury’s all the way. As Ellsbury called for it, Hall kept coming and the ball clanked off his glove allowing a run to score.
It was Ellsbury’s ball regardless, but especially with a runner on third as you want the outfield coming in to make a throw, not the infielder having to turn around.
Buchholz escaped further damage by getting Butler to pop to second and striking out Ankiel.
Middle of the 1st: Red Sox 4, Royals 0
David Ortiz walked to extend the inning. Adrian Beltre followed with a single to right field, sneaking the ball inside the bag to drive in a run. Papi hustled to third. Jeremy Hermida — have I been telling you? — then ripped a two-run double to the gap in left. Cameron popped to right to end the inning but before Meche had to throw a ridiculous 35 pitches.
Top of the 1st: Red Sox 1, Royals 0
Feast or famine for Meche. Ellsbury singled and stole second. Pedroia struck out swinging. Martinez had an RBI single to right. Youkilis struck out.
The Royals are wearing their old-school powder blue uniforms.
Top of the 1st: Red Sox 0, Royals 0
We’re underway at the K. 75 degrees and just a few cotton-ball clouds in the sky. A perfect day for baseball. Enjoy the game.