However, despite his rocky first frame in which he allowed five runs thanks to four hits and two walks, Byrd actually settled down and pitched one of his stronger outings of the season.
The old vet allowed just five hits and two walks more as he shut out the Royals over the next 5 2/3 innings. But too much damage had already been done.
“The first inning, he walked a couple uncharacteristically and paid for it,” Terry Francona told NESN’s Heidi Watney after the loss. “But after that he settled in and he pitched great and it was too much of a deficit with [Zack] Greinke, the way he’s been pitching.”
Greinke stymied the Sox offense, holding them to just two hits in six frames while the Royals bullpen held Boston hitless (despite allowing a run) over the remaining three innings en route to the win. Although the Sox failed to put a “W” in the books, they were able to keep things from getting ugly, especially by not over-working the bullpen despite a rough first inning.
“We didn’t upset our bullpen or get things out of whack, so, hopefully, [Josh] Beckett will throw the way he’s supposed to,” Francona added. “At least everybody’s on track, [because] that had a chance to look like a miserable night from the first inning. Again, we lost, which is not good, but nobody threw who shouldn’t have, which is helpful.”