Game over: Royals 6, Red Sox 4: Royals designated hitter Billy Butler hit a three-run homer in the eighth off reliever Matt Albers to pin a 6-4 loss on the Red Sox at Kauffman Stadium Tuesday night before a crowd of 20,524.
It was Kansas City’s 10th win of the season and third at home — all coming in May — and avenged an 11-6 loss to the Red Sox Monday night in the first game of this three-game set.
Daniel Bard (2-4, 4.83 ERA) absorbed the loss after going seven innings and allowing five runs on six this and four walks while striking out one.
Bottom of 8th, one out, Royals 6, Red Sox 4: Bard was done for the night after walking the first two batters he faced. He turned it over to Matt Albers, who entered the game having thrown 9.2 scoreless innings in his last seven outings. Royals’ DH Billy Butler shattered that streak when he clobbered a three-run homer 402 feet over the fence in left, scoring Dyson and Gordon, both of whom walked.
After Albers got the next two batters to fly to center, he turned it over to LHP Andrew Miller, who struck out Mike Moustakas to end the inning.
Jonathan Broxton relieved Mijares (2.0 IP, 2 H, 3 K) in the top of the ninth.
Top of 8th, Red Sox 4, Royals 3: Mijares again held it down for Royals, sandwiching a pair of strikeouts around a successful pickoff attempt of Marlon Byrd (single) at second.
Bottom of 7th, Red Sox 4, Royals 3: The Royals threatened when Bard allowed the first two batters — Jeff Francouer (single to right) and Mike Moustakas (single to left) — to reach base. Chris Getz’s sacrifice bunt advanced both runners. Gonzalez prevented the tying run from scoring when he fielded Alcides Escobar’s bunt and threw out Francouer at the plate.
Bard got out of the inning by striking out pinch hitter Brayan Pena, his first punchout of the game.
Top of 7th, Red Sox 4, Royals 3: Mijares did a laudable job of keeping the Royals in it, getting two quick outs against Ortiz (pop fly to left) and Ross (strikeout, swinging) before allowing Gonzalez to reach on a single to center. Punto grounded to third for the inning-ending force out on Gonzalez at second.
Bottom of 6th, Red Sox 4, Royals 3: Bard responded with a 1-2-3 inning of his own, getting out of the inning on a 4-6-3 double play, giving him 13 groundball outs for the game. He has now thrown 75 pitches (49 strikes) through six innings. LHP Jose Mijares has relieved Kelvin Herrera (1.2 IP, 2 K) in the top of the seventh.
Top of 6th, Red Sox 4, Royals 3: Herrera holds down Sox with 1-2-3 inning.
Bottom of 5th, Red Sox 4, Royals 3: After issuing a lead-off walk to Chris Getz, Bard retired the next three batters on Gonzalez’s diving stab and flip to Bard after Alcides Escobar’s checked-swing ground ball, Humberto Quintero’s pop up to short, and Jarrod Dyson’s ground out to third. The top of the Royals’ order is now 0 for 7 against Bard with five groundball outs. Bard has now thrown 66 pitches through five innings,
Top of 5th, one out, Red Sox 4, Royals 3: Danny Duffy’s night was done after he gave up a one-out double to Adrian Gonzalez and walked Nick Punto, prompting Ned Yost to summon Kelvin Herrera from the bullpen. Duffy allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits and five walks in 4.1 innings, throwing 102 pitches (56 strikes).
Herrera appeared to induce pinch hitter Ryan Sweeney, batting for Darnell McDonald, to ground into an inning-ending double play, but second baseman Chris Getz was charged with a throwing error to first, enabling Sweeney to reach base and Gonzalez to score the go-ahead run from third. Herrera struck out Byrd to end the inning.
Bottom of 4th, Royals 3, Red Sox 3: Bard held down the Royals with another 1-2-3 inning. Through four innings, Bard has thrown 54 pitches, 35 for strikes, and retired the last six batters he’s faced.
Top of 4th, Royals 3, Red Sox 3: The Sox tied it up on Dustin Pedroia’s single to center, which scored Mike Aviles from second after Aviles reached on a two-out double to left that sailed over Alex Gordon’s head. David Ortiz came up and ended the inning with a pop foul to third. Through four innings, the Sox have stranded six runners.
Bottom of 3d, Royals 3, Red Sox 2: A much-needed 1-2-3 inning for Bard, who needed only five pitches to do the trick, as opposed to the 29 he threw in the disastrous second inning.
Top of 3d, Royals 3, Red Sox 2: The Red Sox left the tying run at third when Cody Ross drew a walk, advanced to second on a walk to Adrian Gonzalez and reached third after Nick Punto grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Ross was left stranded, however, when Darnell McDonald popped to second to end the inning.
Bottom of 2d, Royals 3, Red Sox 2: Bard scuffled at the outset when Eric Hosmer singled to left and Jeff Francouer drew a walk. Mike Moustakas grounded to first and beat out a 3-6-1 double play, getting a safe call from first base ump Jeff Nelson. As he was pitching to Chris Getz, Bard was charged with a balk, allowing Hosmer to score and Moustakas to advance to second.
Another balk call on Bard enabled Moustakas to go to third. The last Red Sox to have two balks in an inning was John Dopson June 13, 1989 vs. Detroit (Dopson wound up having four overall in the game). Moustakas wound up scoring the tying run, 2-2, on Getz’s RBI single to left. Humberto Quintero drove in Getz with the go-ahead run with a single up the middle. Kelly Shoppach picked off Quintero, who was caught stealing second, to get Bard out of the inning.
Update: 9:10 p.m. (EST) Report from the Red Sox clubhouse: Middlebrooks left the game with left hamstring tightness.
Top of 2d, Red Sox 2, Royals 0: Kelly Shoppach drove in Boston’s first run with his RBI single to center, enabling Will Middlebrooks, who reached on a scorched one-out double to right, to score and advanced on Marlon Byrd’s single to right, to score from third. Middlebrooks looked stiff when he rounded third on Byrd’s hit, prompting manager Bobby Valentine and the team’s trainers came out for a visit.
Duffy walked Mike Aviles to load the bases for Dustin Pedroia, who drew a walk that pushed across Byrd to make it 2-0. David Ortiz flied to center to end the inning.
Nick Punto entered the game in the bottom of the second as a defensive replacement for Will Middlebrooks (hamstring).
Bottom of 1st, Red Sox 0, Royals 0: RHP Daniel Bard got off to a smooth start, retiring the side in 1-2-3 fashion on 12 pitches (8 strikes).
Top of 1st, Red Sox 0, Royals 0: Royals LHP Danny Duffy stranded the only base runner, David Ortiz (double to right), when he struck out Cody Ross (swinging).
Pregame Welcome to Kauffman Stadium, where the Red Sox (12-16) will attempt to win their ninth game in their last 11 on the road when they face the Kansas City Royals (9-19). Righthander Daniel Bard, who is winless in nine career games against the Royals (0-2, 2.61 ERA), will go to the mound for the Sox and be opposed by LHP Danny Duffy (2-2, 3.57).
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