Red Sox-Royals Live: Jacoby Ellsbury, Will Middlebrooks Lead Way As Sox Nail Down 5-3 Victory

Stephen Drew, Alcides EscobarFinal, Red Sox 5-3: Koji Uehara had no problem finishing off the Royals in the ninth inning, and the Red Sox rebound from back-to-back losses to win 5-3.

Jacoby Ellsbury and Will Middlebrooks led the way offensively for Boston. Ellsbury had four hits, drove in two runs and stole a base. Middlebrooks, playing his first game since being recalled from Pawtucket, went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

The Red Sox’ big inning came in the fourth, when they posted four runs to grab a 4-0 lead. The Royals came back with three runs in the fifth inning — knocking Felix Doubront from the game in the process — but Brandon Workman helped Boston escape the frame with a one-run lead intact, and the Red Sox’ bullpen eventually nailed down a victory.

Doubront, who entered the game having given up three earned runs or fewer in 15 straight starts, only lasted four innings. He was taken out after failing to record an out in the fifth. The left-hander was charged with three earned runs on six hits and four walks in his four-plus innings of work.

The Red Sox and Royals will finish off their four-game series on Sunday. John Lackey will take the ball as Boston looks to salvage a split. The first pitch is scheduled for 2:10 p.m.

Good night, everyone.

Mid 9th, Red Sox 5-3: The Red Sox put two runners on in the ninth inning, but Donnie Joseph managed to finish off his second scoreless frame.

Joseph got Jacoby Ellsbury to fly out to begin the ninth. It’s the first time that Ellsbury has been retired, as he had been 4-for-4 going into the at-bat.

Shane Victorino then ripped a single into left field past a diving Alcides Escobar, and David Ortiz walked with two outs after Dustin Pedroia struck out swinging. Neither blemish hurt Joseph, though, as Daniel Nava lifted a routine fly ball to right field to end the inning.

The Royals are scheduled to send Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler and Alex Gordon to the plate against Koji Uehara in the ninth inning.

End 8th, Red Sox 5-3: Brett Hayes doubled over Daniel Nava’s head with one down, but Junichi Tazawa finished another scoreless inning. The Royals will now need a ninth-inning rally.

Hayes drilled a fly ball to left field with one out in the eighth. Nava ran back and leaped up, but he couldn’t make the play. Nava crashed into the wall pretty hard, but he shook it off.

Jacoby Ellsbury has had a big night at the plate, and he’s doing it in the field as well. Jarrod Dyson hit a sinking liner into center field, and Ellsbury slid while making a catch. Ellsbury was stationed perfectly in center field during the at-bat.

Tazawa ended the inning by getting Alcides Escobar to ground out.

Mid 8th, Red Sox 5-3: Donnie Joseph was recalled before Saturday’s game, and he pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia was the first out of the inning. He grounded into the hole, where Alcides Escobar made a nice backhanded play.

Joseph then struck out Stephen Drew, and Will Middlebrooks grounded back up the middle. Joseph fanned on a barehanded bid at Middlebrooks’ chopper, and it’s a good thing. Elliot Johnson easily handled it for the third and final out.

It looks like Junichi Tazawa will come back out for another inning.

End 7th, Red Sox 5-3: The Red Sox will be happy to see Billy Butler go away after this series. Butler has raked through the first three games.

Butler led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a double into the gap in left-center. He’s now 3-for-4 in this game and 7-for-12 in the series.

Junichi Tazawa did a nice job of rebounding, though. He recorded three straight outs, and the Red Sox will carry a two-run lead into the eighth inning.

Alex Gordon flied out to Daniel Nava, who took over in left field before the inning, for the first out. Tazawa then struck out Justin Maxwell and Elliot Johnson.

Maxwell went down swinging on a splitter low and out of the zone. Johnson, on the other hand, looked at an 0-2 pitch.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 5-3: The Red Sox threatened to add to their lead in the seventh inning, but Luke Hochevar struck out Mike Napoli to end the threat.

Napoli, who reached base four times in Friday’s game, has struck out three times in this one. He’s now 0-for-4.

Dustin Pedroia has put up some good at-bats in this game, and he worked a one-out walk in the seventh inning. Pedroia advanced to second base when Mike Carp singled into right-center field past a diving Miguel Tejada.

Tejada was shaken up after his diving attempt, and he actually came out of the game. Elliot Johnson replaced him at second base.

Carp was lifted for a pinch-runner in Daniel Nava in the seventh. It didn’t play much of a factor, though, as Napoli struck out swinging on a high fastball.

Prior to Carp’s two-out single, David Ortiz threatened to post a couple of runs. He lifted a fly ball to the warning track in deep right, but it was nothing more than a long out.

Junichi Tazawa will be the new Boston pitcher in the bottom of the eighth.

End 6th, Red Sox 5-3: Craig Breslow did his job.

Breslow induced a ground ball to second base, and Dustin Pedroia kicked off an inning-ending double play.

The Royals will turn to Luke Hochevar in the seventh inning.

9:35 p.m., Red Sox 5-3: Brandon Workman struck out Jarrod Dyson, and then gave up a single to Alcides Escobar. The Red Sox will now make a pitching change.

Craig Breslow will enter with Eric Hosmer batting.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 5-3: Jacoby Ellsbury is having a big night.

Ellsbury is now 4-for-4 after delivering a two-out, RBI double into the left-center field gap to extend Boston’s lead to 5-3.

Will Middlebrooks got things going in the sixth inning with a two-out, infield single. Middlebrooks, who had a two-run single back in the fourth inning, is certainly making his presence felt in his return to the major league club.

Ellsbury sent one to the wall following the two-out knock, and Middlebrooks motored all the way around from first base. Brett Hayes fired down to third base to throw out Ellsbury after Middlebrooks scored, but the damage was done.

Brandon Workman will come back out to begin the bottom of the sixth.

End 5th, Red Sox 4-3: The Royals jumped all over Felix Doubront in the fifth inning. It came just one inning after Doubront worked a 1-2-3 fourth.

Alcides Escobar walked to begin the fifth, as control was an issue for Doubront throughout his outing. Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler then connected on back-to-back doubles to cut Boston’s lead in half.

Alex Gordon stepped up and dropped a single into left field that sent Butler to third base. That spelled the end of Doubront’s night, as the left-hander couldn’t record an out in the fifth.

John Farrell turned to Brandon Workman, who punched out Justin Maxwell before surrendering an RBI single to Miguel Tejada. The run was charged to Doubront.

Gordon and Tejada then executed a textbook double steal with Mike Moustakas batting. That put both the potential tying run and potential go-ahead run into scoring position.

Workman really buckled down, though. He got Moustakas to pop out to Stephen Drew at short, and he then struck out Brett Hayes to escape the inning with a one-run lead intact.

9:11 p.m., Red Sox 4-2: Franklin Morales won’t make it through the fifth inning.

The Royals have already posted two runs in the frame, and John Farrell is making a pitching change.

Brandon Workman enters with runners at the corners and no outs.

Mid 5th, Red Sox 4-0: Jeremy Guthrie made sure things didn’t really spiral out of control. After giving up four runs in the fourth inning, he bounced back for a 1-2-3 fifth.

David Ortiz, Mike Carp and Mike Napoli were retired in order. Ortiz popped out, Carp grounded out and Napoli flied out.

Let’s see if Felix Doubront can continue to settle in.

End 4th, Red Sox 4-0: Felix Doubront provided exactly what the doctor ordered in the fourth inning: a shutdown frame.

Doubront — fresh off 75 pitches through the first three innings — needed 12 to get through a perfect fourth.

Mike Moustakas flied out to right-center field to begin the bottom of the fourth. Shane Victorino and Jacoby Ellsbury both converged, but Victorino called for it and made the catch.

After Brett Hayes flied out for the second out, Jarrod Dyson grounded back to the mound to end the inning.

Mid 4th, Red Sox 4-0: The Red Sox have broken through against Jeremy Guthrie.

The Royals used a six-run sixth inning to emerge victorious in Friday’s game. The Red Sox are hoping that a four-run fourth inning will do the trick in Saturday’s game.

Mike Carp got things going in the fourth with a leadoff walk, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia made it first and second with one out by following Mike Napoli’s strikeout with a single into right field.

Stephen Drew then put Boston on the scoreboard by dropping a double into right field. Justin Maxwell charged in and went into a slide, but the ball dropped and bounced by him. Carp scored, while Saltalamacchia stopped at third base.

Will Middlebrooks drove in both Salty and Drew in just his second at-bat since being recalled before Saturday’s game. Middlebrooks used an inside-out swing to drop a two-run single into right field.

Jacoby Ellsbury got himself into a hitter-friendly 2-0 count, and he extended the lead to 4-0. Ellsbury delivered a double into the right-center field gap that scored Middlebrooks all the way from first base.

End 3rd, 0-0: Nothing has come easy for Felix Doubront. Yet we’re still scoreless.

Doubront struck out Eric Hosmer to start his third inning of work. Hosmer helped him out by chasing a 1-2 curveball low and away.

Billy Butler, who has done some damage in this series, opened up a threat by singling into center field. Two batters later, Justin Maxwell added to it by providing a single of his own.

Doubront got out of the jam by getting Miguel Tejada to ground out. The southpaw is already up to 75 pitches.

Mid 3rd, 0-0: Both pitchers have worked through some trouble.

The Red Sox had their first run 90 feet away in the third inning before Jeremy Guthrie shut the door.

Will Middlebrooks didn’t waste much time in his first at-bat. He lifted the second pitch he saw to left field, where Alex Gordon put it away for the first out.

Jacoby Ellsbury picked up his second hit of the game with one down, and he scooted up to second base with two outs via his major league-leading 42nd steal.

Dustin Pedroia then lined a 3-2 pitch into right field for a single, but Ellsbury was stopped at third after taking a wide turn.

David Ortiz couldn’t come through with runners at the corners. He flied out to deep left field.

End 2nd, 0-0: Felix Doubront issued another two-out walk in the second inning, but the Royals weren’t able to break through.

Doubront struck out Mike Moustakas to begin the inning. Doubront dropped a big looping curveball onto the outside corner to pick up the K.

Brett Hayes then grounded out to short before Doubront walked Jarrod Dyson.

Doubront made sure that Dyson’s walk didn’t come back to haunt him. The left-hander struck out Alcides Escobar to end the inning.

Doubront, who has walked three (all with two outs), has already thrown 58 pitches through two innings.

Mid 2nd, 0-0: Mike Carp kicked off the second inning with a single, but Jeremy Guthrie settled down from there.

Guthrie struck out both Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia looking before retiring Stephen Drew on a little flair into foul territory up along the third base line.

Guthrie has four strikeouts through two innings.

End 1st, 0-0: Things got a little sloppy before Felix Doubront finally closed out the first inning.

Eric Hosmer got it all going with a one-out single into center field. Doubront started to labor at that point.

Doubront walked Alex Gordon with two outs, and he then fired a wild pitch with Justin Maxwell batting to put runners at second and third. Maxwell ended up working a six-pitch walk after falling behind in the count, 1-2.

Doubront escaped the mess by getting Miguel Tejada to fly out to Jacoby Ellsbury in center field, but it wasn’t before some tense moments. Doubront was forced to throw 34 pitches in the lengthy first inning.

Mid 1st, 0-0: Jeremy Guthrie used a couple of strikeouts to get himself out of some minor trouble in the first inning.

Jacoby Ellsbury led off the game with a single into left field. He was replaced at first base by Shane Victorino when Victorino grounded back to the mound. Guthrie fired to second to get Ellsbury off the bases, while Victorino reached safely at first.

Dustin Pedroia ended up striking out to cap an eight-pitch at-bat. Guthrie froze him with a 95 mph fastball on the outside corner, and Pedroia didn’t like the call. Pedey had a few choice words for home plate umpire Alan Porter.

Vicotrino stole second base with David Ortiz batting, but Ortiz struck out swinging to end the inning.

7:12 p.m.: Jeremy Guthrie delivers a first-pitch strike. We’re underway.

6:59 p.m.: The Red Sox have made some roster moves official.

As mentioned, Will Middlebrooks has been called up and Brandon Snyder has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow ulnar neuritis.

Additionally, the Red Sox have activated Franklin Morales off the disabled list. Pedro Beato has been optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.

5:49 p.m.: Will Middlebrooks will bat ninth in his return to the Red Sox.

Middlebrooks struggled mightily in his 53 games with Boston earlier this season before being demoted. He hit .192 with a .228 on-base percentage, and he struck out 60 times in 216 plate appearances.

Middlebrooks has made strides in Pawtucket of late. He was hitting .333 during an eight-game hitting streak with the PawSox before being promoted to the majors Saturday. Both Brandon Snyder and Brock Holt have been struggling at third base, so perhaps Middlebrooks will provide an offensive spark. He certainly has the potential.

Mike Napoli, who reached base four times Friday, will once again bat sixth. Mike Carp will slide in between Napoli and David Ortiz and bat fifth. Carp will play left field, while Daniel Nava will take a seat.

Saturday’s lineups are below.

Red Sox (70-48)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Carp, LF
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Will Middlebrooks, 3B

Felix Doubront, LHP (8-5, 3.56 ERA)

Royals (60-53)
Alcides Escobar, SS
Eric Hosmer, 1B
Billy Butler, DH
Alex Gordon, LF
Justin Maxwell, RF
Miguel Tejada, 2B
Mike Moustakas, 3B
Brett Hayes, C
Jarrod Dyson, CF

Jeremy Guthrie, RHP (12-7, 3.96 ERA)

5:01 p.m.: We have a development in the Red Sox’ third base situation.

According to WEEI.com, Will Middlebrooks will be called up from Triple-A Pawtucket, while Brandon Snyder will be placed on the 15-day disabled list.

This move will please some and disappoint others. There has been a ton of debate recently about whether the Red Sox should call up Middlebrooks or 20-year-old top prospect Xander Bogaerts. For now, at least, it’s Middlebrooks getting the nod.

Vote: Who should be the Red Sox’ starting third baseman? >>

8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox haven’t exactly been firing on all cylinders lately.

Although the Sox took two of three from the lowly Astros in Houston, it was much more difficult than many expected. Now, the Red Sox are sputtering in Kansas City, with the Royals taking the first two games of their four-game set.

Jake Peavy was shaky in his second start as a member of the Red Sox on Friday. He didn’t factor in the decision, but he allowed six runs on 10 hits in five-plus innings of work. It was a stark contrast from his Boston debut last Saturday, when he tossed seven innings while allowing just two runs on four hits.

Perhaps the biggest reason for Peavy’s step backward was his inability to put hitters away. He didn’t strike out anyone in Friday’s start after fanning seven in last Saturday’s outing.

Felix Doubront will look to stop the bleeding Saturday. He’s been Boston’s most consistent starter, as he’s allowed three earned runs or fewer in 15 straight starts dating back to May 16.  His 2.55 ERA in that span is fourth in the American League and first among AL lefties.

Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Be sure to tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with NESN.com’s live blog.

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