Final, Royals 9-6: Greg Holland successfully hammered the nail into the coffin.
The Royals’ offense exploded for six runs in the sixth inning, and Kansas City comes away with a 9-6 win. K.C. has now taken the first two games of the four-game series.
Jake Peavy struggled in his second start as a member of the Red Sox. He enjoyed just one 1-2-3 inning, and he left with no outs in the sixth inning after giving up three straight singles. By the time all was said and done, Peavy was charged with six runs on 10 hits in five-plus innings of work.
Drake Britton entered the game in the sixth to play damage control after three straight singles against Peavy cut Kansas City’s deficit to two runs. Britton couldn’t get the job done, as David Lough’s sac fly and Eric Hosmer’s two-run single gave Kansas City a 7-6 lead. Billy Butler’s RBI double and Justin Maxwell’s RBI single extended the lead to 9-6.
Mike Napoli led the way for Boston’s offense in the losing effort. He reached base four times and drove in three runs on a bases-clearing double in the fourth inning. David Ortiz went deep in the defeat.
The Red Sox will look to bounce back against the Royals on Saturday, and they’ll send Felix Doubront to the hill. Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.
End 8th, Royals 9-6: The Red Sox have some work to do. They’ll come up in the ninth inning facing a three-run deficit.
Craig Breslow pitched a scoreless eighth for Boston despite giving up two hits.
Eric Hosmer singled to lead off the inning, but Billy Butler grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
Alex Gordon then singled into right field and moved up to second base on a wild pitch. He stayed put, though, as Justin Maxwell struck out swinging.
Closer Greg Holland will look to nail down a win for Kansas City.
Mid 8th, Royals 9-6: Back-to-back walks to begin the eighth brought the potential tying run to the plate. A huge double play completely changed the complexion of the inning.
Tim Collins, a graduate of Worcester Technical High School, walked Jacoby Ellsbury to lead off the inning. Ellsbury put together a sensational at-bat against the left-hander. He saw 10 pitches and fouled off four straight 3-2 offerings before earning the free pass.
Shane Victorino then worked a four-pitch walk before Mike Moustakas started up a big double play.
Dustin Pedroia grounded the seventh pitch of his at-bat down to Moustakas, who stepped on the third base bag and fired to second base to record another out there.
The double play generated chants of, “Moooous!” Those chants continued as David Ortiz popped out to Moustakas to end the inning.
End 7th, Royals 9-6: The Red Sox stuck with Pedro Beato in the seventh inning, and he kept Boston’s deficit at three runs.
George Kottaras was the only K.C. hitter to reach in the seventh. He hit a ground ball to the left side, and Mike Napoli made a diving attempt. The ball ricocheted off Napoli’s glove, shot out to a sliding Pedroia, bounced off Pedey’s shoulder and ended up in shallow right field for a single.
Miguel Tejada, who stayed in the game after pinch-hitting for Elliot Johnson in the sixth inning, flied out for the first out.
Beato ended the inning by striking out David Lough on a pitch in the dirt. Jarrod Saltalamacchia fired down to first base to complete the out.
Worcester, Mass., native Tim Collins will take over for the Royals in the eighth inning.
Mid 7th, Royals 9-6: Kelvin Herrera brought the heat in the seventh inning.
Herrera touched triple digits while holding the Red Sox scoreless in the seventh. He gave up a leadoff single, and then cruised from there.
Mike Napoli, who has been on base four times in this game, singled into center field to try to get something brewing.
Herrera dialed it up to 100 mph to strike out Stephen Drew for the first out. Both Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Brock Holt then flied out to David Lough in right field.
End 6th, Royals 9-6: The Royals’ sixth-inning beatdown is finally over.
Kansas City sent 11 hitters to the plate in the sixth inning while scoring six runs to grab a 9-6 lead.
Pedro Beato took over for Drake Britton with two outs after Eric Hosmer gave the Royals a 7-6 lead with a two-run single. Billy Butler greeted Beato by drilling the right-hander’s first pitch into left-center field for an RBI double.
Beato then walked Alex Gordon before Justin Maxwell, who led off the sixth inning, singled into left field to plate Butler with Kansas City’s ninth run.
It was a disastrous inning for the Red Sox, and Britton is the pitcher on the hook right now.
Jake Peavy, who exited after giving up three straight singles to begin the sixth inning, was charged with six runs on 10 hits in his five-plus innings of work. Britton, who became the pitcher of record after surrendering Kansas City’s seventh run, gave up two runs on a hit and a walk before giving way to Beato. Beato was charged with one run.
10:39 p.m., Royals 7-6: Drake Britton got put into a tough spot. He wasn’t up to the challenge.
Britton walked George Kottaras immediately upon entering to load the bases with no outs.
Britton then got Miguel Tejada, who pinch-hit for Elliot Johnson, to pop out into foul territory for the first out.
The Royals chipped away when David Lough drilled a line drive to right field. Shane Victorino made a nice grab, but he slipped before firing to the plate. The brief slip allowed Mike Moustakas to tag up and score Kansas City’s fifth run, although it was a close play because of Victorino’s strong throw.
Eric Hosmer gave the Royals a 7-6 lead with a two-run single into left-center field.
John Farrell will now turn to Pedro Beato as the Royals continue to threaten with two outs in the sixth inning.
10:25 p.m., Red Sox 6-4: Jake Peavy couldn’t record an out in the sixth inning.
Peavy gave up three straight singles, resulting in a run for the Royals. The Red Sox will now turn to Drake Britton with the tying run on first base and no outs.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 6-3: Francisley Bueno — whose name is awesome, by the way — is doing his part to keep Kansas City in this game.
Bueno tossed a 1-2-3 sixth inning, and the Royals will now come up in what could be Jake Peavy’s final inning.
Dustin Pedroia flied out to right field before Bueno induced back-to-back ground ball outs. David Ortiz grounded out to first base, and Daniel Nava grounded out to short.
Peavy has only had one 1-2-3 inning in this game, and his pitch count is approaching 100. We’ll see what he has left in the sixth inning.
End 5th, Red Sox 6-3: The Royals started to threaten in the fifth inning, but a unique double play stomped out their bid to chip away.
Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler both singled with one out in the inning, and Alex Gordon then ripped a line drive to first base. The problem was that Gordon’s liner was right at Mike Napoli.
Napoli started running toward first to try to complete the double play, but Butler got back in time. Hosmer was still far off the second base bag, though, so Napoli chucked it over there to execute the twin killing.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 6-3: Jarrod Saltalamacchia had thoughts of going right back to work in the fifth inning, as he singled into center field to begin the frame. Francisley Bueno settled things down, though.
Brock Holt flied out to center field before Bueno induced two straight ground balls. Jacoby Ellsbury was too quick for the Royals to turn a double play on the first grounder, but Shane Victorino followed with a ground ball that third baseman Mike Moustakas handled.
Jake Peavy, who tossed a perfect inning in the fourth, will look to enjoy a repeat performance in the fifth.
End 4th, Red Sox 6-3: Jake Peavy provided a much-needed shutdown inning in the fourth.
Peavy, who threw 73 pitches in the first three innings, threw 12 pitches while retiring the side in order in the fourth.
Alcides Escobar grounded back to the mound, while George Kottaras and Elliot Johnson flied out to right field and left field, respectively.
Ervin Santana’s book closed after 3 2/3 innings. He gave up six runs on nine hits while laboring through 97 pitches. Santana walked two, struck out two and surrendered a home run to David Ortiz.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 6-3: The Red Sox did some damage with two outs in the third inning. They did even more damage with two outs in the fourth.
Ervin Santana got Jacoby Ellsbury to ground back to the mound and then struck out Shane Victorino to begin the fourth. Things unraveled after that.
Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz struck back-to-back singles, and Daniel Nava was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Mike Napoli.
Napoli has been sputtering at the plate recently, but he delivered a big double up over Justin Maxwell’s head in right-center field. All three runners scored easily, which spelled the end of Santana’s night.
Francisley Bueno replaced Santana and retired Stephen Drew to end the inning, but the Red Sox have grabbed control. It’s now up to Jake Peavy to settle down after three rocky innings to begin the game.
9:46 p.m., Red Sox 6-3: Mike Napoli’s struggles dropped him to sixth in the order. It might not be long before he gets back to his customary No. 5 spot.
Napoli cleared the bases with a three-run double, and Ervin Santana has been yanked.
End 3rd, 3-3: They’re trading blows in Kansas City.
Alex Gordon launched a one-out homer to straightaway center field, and we’re tied up at three all.
Jake Peavy tried to paint the outside corner with a fastball, but Gordon got his arms extended and drove it out of the park for his 12th dinger of the year.
Peavy bounced back to retire Justin Maxwell, who homered back in the second inning, before Mike Moustakas sent one toward the wall in right-center field. It looked like Moustakas’ fly ball had a chance to leave the yard, but Jacoby Ellsbury made a fantastic grab while jumping up and banging into the wall.
Peavy has already thrown 73 pitches through three innings.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 3-2: The Red Sox answered right back in the third inning.
David Ortiz launched his 22nd home run of the season over the right-center field wall to tie the game at two apiece. Ortiz has been locked in of late, as he had back-to-back four-hit games on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Red Sox weren’t done, though, and they ended up grabbing the lead.
Mike Napoli was hit in the shoulder with two outs, and Stephen Drew yanked a single into right field to move Napoli from first to third.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in Boston’s third run with a double down the right field line.
End 2nd, Royals 2-1: Justin Maxwell has homered in two straight at-bats.
Maxwell took Rubby De La Rosa deep in the eighth inning of Thursday’s game, and he went yard off Jake Peavy in the second inning of this one.
Maxwell, who was acquired prior to the trade deadline, took Peavy’s third pitch of the second inning and sent it sailing over the left field fence. It was Maxwell’s ninth blast of the season.
Peavy really needed to work in the second inning. Alcides Escobar singled and George Kottaras walked with one out, and David Lough gave the Royals a 2-1 lead with a two-out single back up the middle.
Peavy has already thrown 58 pitches through two innings.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: It looked like Shane Victorino was going to extend Boston’s lead. Alex Gordon tracked down his bid for extra bases, though.
Ervin Santana retired the first two hitters of the second inning. Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded out to first base, and Brock Holt grounded to shortstop Alcides Escobar.
Holt may have actually beat out Escobar’s throw, but first base umpire Alan Porter thought otherwise about the bang-bang play.
Jacoby Ellsbury tried to provide a spark with two down in the inning. He singled into center field, and then took second base on his major league-leading 41st stolen base.
Victorino ended the inning with a fly ball to left-center field. It looked destined for the gap off the bat, but Gordon tracked it down and made a lunging grab.
End 1st, Red Sox 1-0: Billy Butler is still a nightmare for Jake Peavy. The right-hander did well against the other three hitters he faced in the first inning, though.
David Lough began the frame with a ground ball to first, and Eric Hosmer lined out softly to Dustin Pedroia at second base for the second out.
Butler then jumped on the first pitch he saw from Peavy and drove it back through the box for a two-out single.
Alex Gordon elevated Peavy’s pitch count by putting together a nine-pitch at-bat that included three 3-2 foul balls. But Peavy ultimately won the battle, as Gordon flied out to Daniel Nava in left field.
Mid 1st, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox didn’t score until the ninth inning Thursday. They didn’t wait around that long in this one.
The Red Sox jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out RBI single by Daniel Nava.
Shane Victorino got things going with a single into center field after Jacoby Ellsbury lined out to short on the first pitch of the game.
Dustin Pedroia followed Victorino’s single with a nine-pitch walk. Victorino took off for second base on a pair of 3-2 pitches that Pedroia fouled off before Pedey finally laid off a slider in the dirt.
David Ortiz was retired for the second out. He lifted a fly ball down the right field line in foul territory that caused some brief confusion. Three Royals players converged before the catch was made, and Victorino alertly tagged up and scooted to third base.
Victorino came across with the game’s first run when Nava hit a sharp ground ball down the first base line. Eric Hosmer tried to field the grounder while sliding, but the ball scooted past him and into right field.
Mike Napoli walked on six pitches to load the bases for the red-hot Stephen Drew. Drew grounded out to first base, though, and Ervin Santana escaped the shaky first inning after only surrendering one run.
8:11 p.m.: One pitch, one out, as Jacoby Ellsbury lines out to short.
8:01 p.m.: Having pitched in the American League Central as a member of the White Sox, Jake Peavy will see a lot of familiar faces when pitching against the Royals on Friday. He’ll have his work cut out for him.
Not only is Peavy going up against a talented pitcher in Ervin Santana, but he’s facing a lineup that consists of a few hitters who have had success against him.
Billy Butler enters the game hitting .400 (12-for-30) with three home runs and eight RBIs against Peavy in his career. Alcides Escobar is hitting .368 (7-for-19) with two homers and seven RBIs.
7:55 p.m.: On this date in Red Sox history, Dom DiMaggio went 0-for-5 against the Yankees, snapping his franchise-record 34-game hit streak. DiMaggio hit .352 (51-for-145) during his legendary streak.
7:46 p.m.: One debate that isn’t going anywhere is the one centered on the Red Sox’ third base situation. It seems that the calls for Xander Bogaerts are growing louder each day.
While plenty of people would like to see the Red Sox give Bogaerts a shot — me being one of them — Will Middlebrooks remains in the mix as well. Right now, of course, the Red Sox are going with a platoon of Brock Holt and Brandon Snyder down at the hot corner.
I think that now is the time to bring up Bogaerts. Sure, he’s young and he might go through some growing pains, but he’s the most talented of the bunch. Why not see if that translates to the big league level for what Boston hopes is a deep playoff run?
7:11 p.m.: The Red Sox announced the signing of four international free agents Friday.
The Red Sox signed third baseman Rafael Devers, left-handed pitchers Enmanuel DeJesus and Jhonathan Diaz, and center fielder Yoan Aybar. All come from Latin America, and all are 16 years old.
Devers is the most highly touted prospect on the list. He was ranked sixth on MLB.com’s list of international free agents, and his swing has even been compared to Robinson Cano’s — not to get ahead of ourselves or anything.
DeJesus, meanwhile, ranked 24th on MLB.com’s list, and he has been compared to Felix Doubront in the past.
6:52 p.m.: The Red Sox’ offense was completely shut down Thursday. The unit could receive a boost Friday, however, as David Ortiz returns to the lineup after a night off.
Ortiz had back-to-back four-hit games Tuesday and Wednesday before being held out of Thursday’s contest. He has been on fire of late, and he also has had plenty of success against Royals starter Ervin Santana in the past.
Ortiz is a career .323 (10-for-31) hitter against Santana with two home runs and five RBIs. He’s not the only Red Sox hitter to have had success against the talented righty, though, as Mike Napoli is hitting .333 (6-for-18) with three homers and seven RBIs in his career against Santana.
Napoli, who has been struggling at the dish, will once again bat sixth in Friday’s game. Daniel Nava will move up to fifth, while Stephen Drew will slide back down to seventh after batting fifth in Thursday’s game.
Friday’s complete lineups are below.
Red Sox (70-47)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Daniel Nava, LF
Mike Napoli, 1B
Stephen Drew, SS
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Brock Holt, 3B
Jake Peavy, RHP (9-4, 4.14 ERA)
David Lough, RF
Eric Hosmer, 1B
Billy Butler, DH
Alex Gordon, LF
Justin Maxwell, CF
Mike Moustakas, 3B
Alcides Escobar, SS
George Kottaras, C
Elliot Johnson, 2B
Ervin Santana, RHP (8-6, 2.97 ERA)
8 a.m. ET: Jake Peavy followed a Red Sox loss with a win in his first start with the club. He’ll be asked to do the same in his second outing.
Peavy will head to the mound Friday for his first road start as a member of the Red Sox. He’ll be trying to give the team a boost after the Royals took the series opener 5-1 on Thursday. It won’t be easy, though, as Peavy will be opposed by Ervin Santana, who is in the midst of an excellent season.
Peavy went seven innings and allowed two runs on four hits in his first start with Boston on Saturday. He picked up the win in that game, and it’s something that he’ll look to accomplish again against a red-hot Kansas City squad. Bruce Chen guided the Royals to victory on Thursday, tossing 7 2/3 shutout innings to outduel Jon Lester.
Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. As always, you’re encouraged to tune in on NESN and follow the fun with NESN.com’s live blog.