Final: Royals 4, Red Sox 3
This one is over, Daisuke Matsuzaka’s wildness the main culprit in endng the Red Sox’s five-game win streak. Soria got the Sox in order in the ninth, with Hermida fouling out to third, Varitek lining out to first, and Victor Martinez, pinch-hitting for Hall, ending the game on a grounder to second.
Middle of the 9th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3
Ramon Ramirez gave up some hard-hit balls, but fortunately for the Red Sox they were right at defenders. Aviles lined out to Pedroia, DeJesus lined out to Hermida, and Butler flew out to Hall. The Sox now go up against All-Star closer Joakim Soria.
End of the 8th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3
The heart of the order — Youkilis, Drew, and Beltre — didn’t manage a thing, leaving the Red Sox with one more chance to erase a deficit. Youkilis and Drew flew out, while Beltre grounded out to third. Due up for the Sox in the ninth: Hermida, Varitek, and Hall.
Middle of the 8th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3
Second straight impressive inning for Delcarmen, who once again retired the Royals in order. Kendall lined out to Hermida in left, Getz grounded out to second, and Podsednik struck out swinging.
End of the 7th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3
Robinson Tejada came on in relief of starter Brian Bannister (six innings, nine hits, three earned runs) and didn’t allow a thing. Scutaro and Pedroia flew out to DeJesus in right, and Ortiz grounded out.
Middle of the 7th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3
Manny Delcarmen relieved Nelson (1 1/3 innings, two hits, one earned run) and retired the Royals in order, something that hadn’t been done since the third inning. Guillen flew out to Drew in right-center, Callaspo grounded to Youkilis, who flipped to Delcarmen, and Maier struck out.
End of the 6th: Royals 4, Red Sox 3
One-run game again. Varitek doubled home Drew, who opened with a single, his third hit of the night. Beltre flew out to right and Hermida struck out before Varitek’s high fly barely eluded a leaping Podsednik, the ball hitting off the big scoreboard on the Wall. Hall fouled out to Butler, who caught it near the Sox dugout.
Middle of the 6th: Royals 4, Red Sox 2
The Royals get the run back to restore their two-run lead. Nelson started off well, getting Getz on a long fly to center and Podsednik on a grounder to short. But after Aviles reached on an infield single, DeJesus doubled off the Wall, a ball that Hermida misplayed, allowing Aviles to score from first.
End of the 5th: Royals 3, Red Sox 2
The Red Sox cut the Royals’ lead in half, with Hall crushing a 1-2 pitch from Bannister over the Wall, his fourth home run of the season. Scutaro struck out, Pedroia flew out to left, and after Ortiz reached on a dribbler toward third (take that, shift!), Youkilis fouled out.
Middle of the 5th: Royals 3, Red Sox 1
Matsuzaka couldn’t work out of another jam unscathed, and couldn’t get out of the inning. He walked Getz and Aviles, then gave up a run-scoring single to DeJesus, who lined a 1-0 pitch over Pedroia’s head. Another walk to Butler loaded the bases for Guillen, who earned his own walk, which scored Aviles. With the bases still loaded, Callaspo bounced to Beltre at third, who forced DeJesus out at home. The Royals made it 3-1 when Matsuzaka threw a wild pitch, scoring Butler. When he walked Maier — his fifth free pass of the inning and eighth of the game — Francona had seen enough, replacing Matsuzaka with Joe Nelson. Kendall flew out to center with the bases loaded, only the second ball that left the infield in the fifth inning.
End of the 4th: Red Sox 1, Royals 0
The Red Sox used a little umpire assistance to stake Matsuzaka to a one-run lead. After Ortiz grounded out to first, Youkilis singled. Drew then hit a ball up the middle which caromed off the mound, then struck second base umpire Paul Schrieber. Ruled a single, it gave the Sox two on with one out. Beltre followed with a hard hit grounder that eluded Aviles at shortstop, scoring Youkilis. Two flyouts ended the inning.
Middle of the 4th: Royals 0, Red Sox 0
The Royals almost strike first, loading the bases with nobody out before Matsuzaka worked his way out of the jam. He walked DeJesus, gave up a single to Butler, then hit Guillen. But Callaspo then hit a soft liner that Youkilis snared, Maier hit a similar flare that Pedroia caught, and Kendall flew out to center to end the threat. That’s a vintage Dice-K inning right there. He’s up to 70 pitches through four innings.
End of the 3d: Royals 0, Red Sox 0
Red Sox manager Terry Francona came out twice to talk to the umpires. First in between innings to chat with home plate umpire Joe West for an unknown reason. Everybody knew the reason for the second trip. Francona argued with first-base umpire Angel Hernandez after leadoff batter Jason Varitek was called out on a close play. Varitek hit the ball sharply up the middle, but Aviles came over from short, past second base, fielded it cleanly, and threw to first. Replays appeared to show Varitek beating the throw. Hall struck out, and after Scutaro singled, Pedroia was gunned down on another close play, with Aviles going far to his right toward third base, his throw just beating Pedroia.
Middle of the 3d: Royals 0, Red Sox 0
Seven in a row retired by Matsuzaka. Chris Getz floated one down the third-base line that Beltre chased after and caught. Podsednik followed with the hardest-hit ball of the night, a liner to center that Hall barely moved for. Aviles then flew out to Drew in right.
End of the 2d: Royals 0, Red Sox 0
J.D. Drew got the first hit of the game, but was stranded at first. Kevin Youkilis opened the inning by flying out to center, then Drew lined one up the middle for a clean single. But Adrian Beltre fouled out to first, and Jeremy Hermida hit a soft liner that Aviles caught at short.
Middle of the 2d: Royals 0, Red Sox 0
Much easier time of it for Matsuzaka in the second. He needed only seven pitches to dispatch of Alberto Callaspo (popout to Scutaro), Mitch Maier (flyout to Hall), and Jason Kendall (groundout to third).
End of the 1st: Royals 0, Red Sox 0
Easy inning for Royals starter Brian Bannister. Marco Scutaro grounded out to third, Dustin Pedroia flew out to right, and David Ortiz was called out on strikes.
Middle of the 1st: Royals 0, Red Sox 0
Not a bad night at Fenway, with the game-time temperature 68 degrees and the wind blowing out to left field. Daisuke Matsuzaka, who took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in his last start, is on the stump for the Red Sox. Scott Podsednik worked a nine-pitch walk from Matsuzaka to open the game, then stole second, his 15th steal of the season. Mike Aviles nearly made it 2-0, crushing one over the Green Monster seats, but just foul. He then flew out to J.D. Drew in right. David DeJesus flew out to deep center that Bill Hall ran down. Cleanup hitter Billy Butler walked, with the fourth ball getting away from Jason Varitek, allowing Podsednik to move to third on the passed ball. Jose Guillen ended the inning by flying out to a charging Hall in short right-center. No runs given up by Matsuzaka, but it took him 23 pitches to retire the Royals.