A game which will not go down as one of Scutaro’s finest ends with him staring at a called third strike.
It’s all over from Fenway after a four-hour, 28-minute affair on top of a two-hour, 21-minute rain delay. That’s nearly seven hours of waiting for KC to walk off with a 3-1 win.
Boston will try to regroup in a few hours with Andrew Miller on the mound opposite lefty Danny Duffy. First pitch is 7:10 p.m. We’ll get some short rest and be back to take you through it. Thanks for staying up with us tonight.
Mid 14th, Royals 3-1: Kansas City adds another run on a sacrifice fly and can finally turn to its closer, Joakim Soria.
Carl Crawford, Josh Reddick and Jarrod Saltalamacchia are due up. If anyone reaches, Marco Scutaro could make an appearance with a big need for redemption.
1:46 a.m.: We have a run, ladies and gentlemen. The Royals have snapped the tie on a bizarre play in the 14th, because nothing is conventional right now.
A double and a single off Randy Williams put the lefty in hot water with men on the corners. KC put both runners in motion and had Mike Aviles turn to bunt.
In a fashion befitting this game, Aviles popped the bunt up, potentially spoiling the Royals’ chance. Had it been caught, we would’ve had some runners caught in no-man’s land. However, Adrian Gonzalez was charging and it sailed right over his head to Dustin Pedroia, who scooped it and stepped on first as the runner crossed home.
Kansas City is still up and looking for more.
End 13th, 1-1: The Red Sox have had a runner in scoring position in four of the last five innings, multiple times with less than two outs.
In the last two frames, they’ve had a man on third with just one out, both times failing to score.
The blown chance in the 12th will be talked about forever. What happpened in the 13th was not nearly as memorable, but just as painful for people itching for a culmination to this charade.
Jacoby Ellbury led off with a walk and moved to third on Adrian Gonzalez’s one-out single. Yamaico Navarro popped foul to the first baseman and David Ortiz grounded to second. That’s how that one ended, and with John Lackey heading to the bullpen, we press on.
Mid 13th, 1-1: So, pretty promising return for Jon Lester, eh?
And how about that rain delay? Something else, huh?
Hopefully we have something else to talk about real soon.
Randy Williams kept himself out of the postgame discussion by working around a one-out walk in the 13th.
Sox have the top of the order up against Louis Coleman.
End 12th, 1-1: OK, now I really don’t have the words.
If you caught any of what just transpired, you may have a bottle through your TV and the neighbors are likely up.
The Red Sox were just gifted a great scoring chance when a pickoff throw of Josh Reddick went up the line, allowing him to scamper to third.
One out, a man 90 feet from the winning run and Marco Scutaro, a guy who can handle the bat, at the plate.
On the first pitch, Reddick broke for home, but Scutaro was not bunting. Clearly a missed sign there by the Red Sox shortstop.
Then, just to rub salt in the wounds of everyone in attendance, Scutaro lined a hit into the left-field corner, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. Horrendous inning for Scutaro.
Scutaro tossed his helmet in disgust after being tagged out. He stayed in a crouch for a long time while getting some consolation from Yamaico Navarro.
Randy Williams is on for the Sox.
Mid 12th, 1-1: It should not come as any surprise that the Red Sox bullpen has tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings. The pen has just dominated in the past month or so.
Dan Wheeler has gotten four of those outs, working around a leadoff walk to Jeff Francoeur in the 12th.
I’ve officially been up for more than 20 hours straight. Feels nice.
End 11th, 1-1: Carl Crawford was Mr. Walk-Off earlier in the year, winning a pair of games on hits and scoring the game-winner in another.
He has struck out two times with the potential winning run in scoring position in the last three innings.
Adrian Gonzalez singled and moved to second on a wild pitch with two outs. After David Ortiz was intentionally walked, Crawford went down swinging.
Dan Wheeler is still in there for Boston as we begin the 12th. Randy Williams is warming.
Mid 11th, 1-1: You shant be running on Jarrod Saltalamacchia these days. Teams will be doing so less and less as long as he keeps this up.
Saltalamacchia just gunned down Melky Cabrera for the second time tonight/this morning, ending the top of the 11th.
Greg Holland will face Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez and Yamaico Navarro in the bottom half.
12:42 a.m.: As we approach 1 a.m. we have our eighth pitching change. With a man on first and two outs, Dan Wheeler is on to face Jeff Francoeur.
That’s all I have for now.
End 10th, 1-1: The Royals are tied for second in the majors with nine extra-inning wins. They’ve been to this kinda party before.
The Red Sox go quietly in their half of the 10th.
Speaking of quiet, there have been moments in the past couple of innings, between some less meaningful pitches, when Fenway has been as quiet as I’ve ever known it to be.
There are a few thousand left. That includes Franklin Morales, who remains in to pitch the 11th.
Mid 10th, 1-1: Josh Reddick nearly became a hero in the bottom of the ninth with his deep drive to right. Alas, it fell short.
Still, he is picking up admirers by the minute, many more jumping on board after he opened the 10th with a great diving catch coming in on a sinking liner.
Dustin Pedroia added a pretty play for the final out of the frame.
Greg Holland, a righty, is on to face Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Marco Scutaro and Jacoby Ellsbury.
End 9th, 1-1: I ain’t got the words.
Well, since they pay me to create some, I’ll attempt to hide my disgust and just explain what just happened.
The Red Sox got a one-out single by Yamaico Navarro and then a gift when David Ortiz’s worm-burner into the shift somehow went under the gloves of two defenders.
The base hit put runners at the corners with one out. An out could win it.
But not the kind of out that sees the third base umpire rule that Carl Crawford went too far on a check swing. That was the second out, and Josh Reddick’s fly to relatively deep right field the third.
Franklin Morales is on to pitch the 10th in this battle of two pretty solid bullpens.
12:12 a.m.: Didn’t happen. Adrian Gonzalez just struck out to begin the ninth. Sorry for the build-up to nothing, just felt like it was time.
Mid 9th, 1-1: Have we had an Adrian Gonzalez walk-off homer yet?
Nope. Don’t think so. He did win a game with a double once, if I recall correctly.
Now’s the time, Adrian. Then again, you have one home run since June 25, so maybe it’s asking too much.
But at least he has that chance after Jonathan Papelbon threw a 1-2-3 top of ninth.
Yamaico Navarro is on deck behind Gonzalez because of Kevin Youkilis’ departure, which was because of right hamstring tightness.
End 8th, 1-1: There was plenty of life in the remaining fans after Jacoby Ellsbury singled with one out in the eighth.
Dustin Pedroia stepped in and everyone dreamed of a magical moment for the Laser Show, or Muddy Chicken or whatever the heck he’s called tonight.
How about 4-6-3? Would that be a good nickname?
That’s what Pedroia hit into, ending the inning and sending this one to the ninth. Jonathan Papelbon is on.
Mid 8th, 1-1: Daniel Bard has been flirting with ending his scoreless streak, but he can’t close the deal. Much like yours truly in a bar.
Bard let two on in his last outing before escaping with another zero on the board. This time, a single by Melky Cabrera and a balk by Bard put a man in scoring position with two outs.
One easy grounder to second base ended the threat.
Aaron Crow, an All-Star for the Royals this year, is on to work the bottom of the eighth. Marco Scutaro and the top of the order are due up.
End 7th, 1-1: Here comes Daniel Bard, looking to extend his scoreless streak, which sits at 24 innings.
The last Red Sox reliever with a run longer was Bob Stanley with 27 1/3 in 1980. But scoreless streaks weren’t cool until the 90s, so it went largely unnoticed.
Mid 7th, 1-1: Ah, can you smell it? Extra innings? Watching the sun rise on your commute home from work?
I can. Smells like garbage.
Matt Albers kept things knotted up for now with an easy seventh. With his pitch count at 22, it would not be stunning to see him come out for the eighth.
Albers has thrown more than 22 pitches nine times this year. Niiiine times.
Then again, Daniel Bard is warming. Sorry. Try to forget the last 10 seconds of your life.
One thing we know for sure is Kyle Davies is done. He will not have the longest start of his year, but it still will be his best. Worcester native Tim Collins, who is just 21, is on in relief. He has some fans here.
End 6th, 1-1: If you missed the play made by Alcides Escobar to get Kevin Youkilis, make sure you find it. DVR, postgame, whatever. Nice play by the Royals shortstop.
That out was part of a 1-2-3 inning for Kyle Davies, his second of the game. It also had Youkilis limping a bit, but he’s back out there.
This is, definitively, the best start of the year for Davies. If he is able to get two outs in the seventh, it will be his longest.
But oh, the seventh. That’s when the Red Sox wake up, right?
Mid 6th, 1-1: Matt Albers does what he does, getting his two men in the sixth.
The line on Jon Lester: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. He threw 55 of his 89 pitches for strikes.
Although it did not end the way he would have liked, Lester has to be pleased with how his return went.
11:16 p.m.: Jon Lester is likely not a happy man right now.
The uber-competitive Lester was given a chance to get a few more outs, but only got one, giving up the tying run in the process.
Melky Cabrera singled and Billy Butler doubled into the corner in left to tie it. Butler made a boneheaded move to try to advance to third when the relay bounced away from Kevin Youkilis, but it went straight to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who got Butler easily at third.
Lester followed by walking Eric Hosmer, who reached base all three times. That’s it for Boston’s lefty, done after 89 pitches and responsible for Hosmer at first.
Matt Albers is on in relief.
End 5th, Red Sox 1-0: There’s been some talk of Jeff Francouer as a potential trade target for the Red Sox.
You just saw one reason why people like his game.
With Jarrod Saltalamacchia on first and one out, the Red Sox executed a perfect hit-and-run with Marco Scutaro slapping the ball through the now-vacated spot at second base and into right field.
In most situations, Saltalamacchia is on third with one out, but with Francoeur possessing a cannon in right, Salty was held at second. He did go to third on Jacoby Ellsbury’s deep fly to Francoeur moments later, but that would’ve been a run had he made it the play before.
Francoeur’s arm saved a run, in a way.
Dustin Pedroia ended the inning by flying out to…you guessed it, Francoeur.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 1-0: Jon Lester has six strikeouts, three of them on Alex Gordon, and is through five at 73 pitches.
His K of Gordon, which came after he picked off Alcides Escobar, ends the top of the fifth.
Just some light walking around in the Boston bullpen. You know, just the fellas doin’ their thing.
End 4th, Red Sox 1-0: Terry Francona gave every indication early in the season he was not afraid to send David Ortiz from time to time.
He wants teams to respect that possibility and hold Ortiz at first, thus opening a hole on the right side.
That was most certainly a hit-and-run situation in the fourth, but it’s worth mentioning Francona’s willingness to put Ortiz in motion.
Oh, you don’t know what happened? Ortiz was just thrown out at second (Carl Crawford, the hitter, struck out on the pitch) to end the fourth. It was the seventh time in his career that Ortiz has been caught stealing.
Kyle Davies was wicked pumped after the play. Homeboy’s got a little life in him tonight.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 1-0: Jon Lester did not give up a single hit in four innings in his last start.
He has given up five already in this one, but all have been singles and Lester has yet to walk a batter.
This is our first look at Eric Hosmer, the can’t-miss kid the Royals are banking on as a big part of a promising future. Kid looks legit so far — 2-for-2 off Lester.
End 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: That’s a 22-game hitting streak for Dustin Pedroia.
Such streaks get really interesting as players hit the 30 mark. Andre Ethier, Pedroia’s friend, caused quite a stir when he hit that number earlier in the year. Pedroia could be causing quite a stir in a week or so.
For now, he’s just a stranded runner. The hit came with two outs and Adrian Gonzalez followed with a fly to center to end it.
For what it’s worth, the ball doesn’t seem to be traveling well in the air tonight.
By the way, if you missed Jonathan Papelbon throwing tomatoes at people, make sure you keep it tuned to NESN during the commercial break after the fourth inning. No need to check out which place they chose on House Hunters or whether that dude on Man vs. Food gets all the wings down.
Just. Watch. NESN.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: That’s five strikeouts in three innings for Jon Lester, whose scoreless streak is at 14. Sure, it stretches back to June, but we love our numbers over here, and that’s one.
Lester’s pitch count: 50. I give him five innings, folks, and then we’ll get a heavy dose of the bullpen.
End 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: The Royals have lost the last nine starts made by Kyle Davies. He has been given the loss in the last eight, and in the last seven his ERA is 8.19.
Literally, getting through two scoreless innings against this Red Sox lineup would’ve amounted to something noteworthy.
You can hold the news flashes for now. Davies was reached for a run in the second, and you can credit Josh Reddick with the big hit.
Carl Crawford reached on a fielder’s choice that was the second out. He later swiped second before Reddick blasted one into the right-center field gap to score the game’s first run. Reddick is 9-for-22 over his last six games.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Seems as if the Royals are intent on running tonight on Jon Lester and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Melky Cabrera was thrown out attempting to steal to end the first. Eric Hosmer singled and later swiped second in the second.
Hosmer moved to third with two outs on an infield hit by Brayan Pena. Marco Scutaro made an amazing diving stop to keep that one in the infield. Hosmer would’ve been held at third anyway as Carl Crawford was right behind Scutaro, but it looked darn pretty.
Anyway, that left Lester with a first-and-third situation, one which he would escape when Alcides Escobar grounded to second.
The Royals have made Lester throw 34 pitches, and he had to work a bit in that frame. If he has to work hard, he will be removed on the short end of that 80-85 pitch range, or even before.
End 1st, 0-0: Kyle Davies comes in with the 7.32 ERA and an opponents batting average of .348.
Put those numbers up against this lineup and you have a recipe for disaster, at least on the Kansas City side of things.
So far, disaster has yet to occur. Davies motors through the bottom of the first on two grounders and a strikeout of Adrian Gonzalez.
A reminder that Jon Lester’s pitch count will be closely monitored tonight. He threw 15 in the first. At that rate he can give them five, maybe six innings.
Mid 1st, 0-0: With one on and one out, Jon Lester picked up a second strikeout, this one of Billy Butler.
Then, with rookie Eric Hosmer at the plate, Melky Cabrera broke for second but was a rather easy out on a strong throw by Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
9:39: Jon Lester ended his last start with a strikeout before leaving with the lat strain.
He returns to the mound and picks up right where he left off, fanning Alex Gordon to begin things.
Lester then gave up a single to Melky Cabrera, the first hit the lefty has allowed this month. Cabrera improved to 8-for-19 against Lester with the soft single to right.
The lineup cards are being exchanged. We are moments from first pitch. Finally.
8:43 p.m.: Oh, hi there! The game is scheduled to resume at 9:30 p.m. That should put my head on a pillow around 3 a.m. Look for considerable crankiness in tomorrow night’s blog.
7:53p.m.: As we wait out the wet stuff, we want to remind you that NESN’s best will be on hand to provide you with a trade deadline special this coming Sunday.
The show will air on NESN for an hour, beginning at 1 p.m. and leading up to the start of the Red Sox’ game in Chicago. The trade deadline is 4 p.m. that day.
Tom Caron, Jim Rice, Jerry Remy and Heidi Watney will be joined by Nick Cafardo and Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe.
Do not miss it.
7:32 p.m.: Not so fast on that J.D. Drew-to-the-DL scenario. It appears as if Drew remains active for tonight’s game, while Kyle Weiland will be optioned to Pawtucket to make room for Jon Lester, per Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
Drew Sutton will be in Boston tomorrow, with Drew going on the DL at that time, according to Speier. We are waiting on official word, but that usually comes at first pitch. When’s first pitch? Who the heck knows.
It seemed as if the Sox had some legit reasons to keep Weiland around for a few days, just to let the dust settle and all, but maybe that thin bench worried them.
6:53 p.m.: So, we will be delayed, in case Captain Obvious had yet to come to your door to tell you.
The proverbial window arrives in a couple of hours, so you should anticipate a long night. I know I am, with much glee.
Keep it tuned to NESN or check back here for any updates from the weather desk.
6:03 p.m.: The Red Sox just released a statement on the weather, saying that “the conditions are expected to improve as the evening progresses.”
So that’s good, right? Still, you should expect a delay to start, and it could be lengthy.
My apologies for the formatting issues tonight. You’re going to have to bear with me as it appears unfixable.
5:49 p.m.: Some things to consider here. With Jon Lester making his return to the mound, the Red Sox do not want to send him out there in poor conditions, or to have him start a game and then have a rain delay interupt it after two innings or so.
However, this is also the only trip to town for Kansas City. A doubleheader either Tuesday or Wednesday is possible, but that only creates headaches for a lot of people.
As this is being typed, the rain is light but the tarp is on in anticipation of more strong stuff. We will keep you posted.
5:01 p.m.: The magic number for Jon Lester tonight will be 80. That’s about where his pitch count will get to before he is taken out. It might get as high as 85 or 88, depending on how much he has to work to get through certain innings.
Between his shorter pitch count and the threat of rain, the bullpen has to be on high alert tonight. It could be a case of piecing things together.
The positive is that Lester will not have any physical issues. They are gone. It’s just a matter of not piling on too much work in his first game back.
“He feels good, no restrictions pitching,” manager Terry Francona said. “Physically, he feels good there. Really good. Hopefully get him back, get him in a rhytym, get him where he was and turn him loose. Our guys have done a great job of filling in for him, but you need guys like Lester.”
One of the primary fill-ins is Kyle Weiland, who will now join the bullpen for at least a few days. The Red Sox are three games into a stretch of 20 games in 20 days, as we’ve mentioned. And, as we mentioned, he can provide some depth in the pen or pick up a start somewhere. It’s doubtful that he will remain in this role long.
“He’ll be in the bullpen for the next few days, and that’s something we’re going to have to figure out,” Francona said. “Since we don’t have a day off, we could use him start.
“The one thing we don’t want him to do is not pitch.”
Weiland was a closer at Notre Dame, so working out of the pen is nothing new. But the moment his role is diminished, he’ll be sent back to Pawtucket to continue his work.
As for Lester, here’s the lineup he will face, followed by some numbers:
Alex Gordon, LF
Melky Cabrera, CF
Billy Butler, DH
Eric Hosmer, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Mike Aviles, 3B
Brayan Pena, C
Alcides Escobar, SS
Chris Getz, 2B
Only Gordon and Butler were in the lineup when Lester threw his no-hitter against Kansas City on May 19, 2008. Cabrera is 7-for-18 (.389) against Lester. The rest of the order is a combined 2-for-20 (.100) with five strikeouts.
The tarp is on the field right now. It is a light rain, but the heavy stuff is coming. Keep it here for updates.
4:25 p.m.: We are back from the clubhouse with plenty of news.
Terry Francona confirmed that J.D. Drew will be placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left shoulder impingement, comfirming earlier reports.
Kyle Weiland will stay in the bullpen, giving Boston an extra pitcher and a limited bench. The Red Sox enter this one with Jason Varitek, Darnell McDonald and Yamaico Navarro as their only subs.
Francona thinks they can survive for a little while like this, but don’t expect it to be a long-term solution.
Because the club is early in a stretch in which it plays 20 games in 20 days, Weiland could be valuable as an extra arm in the pen, or even as a spot starter if Francona wants to give someone else an extra day of rest.
“The thing we don’t want him to do is not to pitch,” Francona said of Weiland.
Drew’s shoulder has been bothering him for some time, but Francona said “it wasn’t an issue until a couple of weeks ago.” Drew got an MRI over the weekend, which showed the impingement, essentially a soreness issue that has sapped the veteran’s strength on that side.
Also, Clay Buchholz got through his 30-pitch session just fine. Although he didn’t get through it without feeling something in that troublesome back, he is on track to throw a full side session Wednesday and then can eye a rehab trip.
3:29 p.m.: Greetings from Fenway Park, where the tarp is off the field but we may get some wet stuff later on. Let’s hope it doesn’t hinder all the efforts to get game No. 100 in the books.
The Red Sox are featuring a rather standard look against struggling righty Kyle Davies. Here’s a look:
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
Carl Crawford, LF
Josh Reddick, RF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Marco Scutaro, SS
Clay Buchholz just finished up his session on the mound in the Red Sox bullpen. We will have a full report on his day, as well as any new news on J.D. Drew, who is expected to be placed on the disabled list.
8 a.m.: Jon Lester returns to the mound Monday night in the opener of a four-game series with the Kansas City Royals.
Lester last appeared on July 5, when he left a start against Toronto after four hitless innings. He was diagnosed with a lat strain on his left side and placed on the disabled list, interrupting a pretty strong run by the All-Star lefty.
Including those four innings, Lester has a 1.15 ERA over his last six starts.
Lester is 4-1 with a 1.22 ERA against the Royals, a five-start run that includes his no-hitter on May 19, 2008.
Four of Boston’s last six opponents have been last-place teams. Kansas City is the third in a row. It will give the ball to Kyle Davies, who is a ghastly 1-9 with a 7.32 ERA this year.
However, Davies is 2-0 in three career starts vs. Boston.
Lester, who will be on a pitch count of around 80 pitches, will throw his first around 7:10 p.m.