Red Sox-Royals Live: Mike Napoli’s Big Home Run Leads Boston To 2-1 Win

Dustin Pedroia, Shane VictorinoFinal, Red Sox 2-1: Koji Uehara closed down the ninth inning. The Red Sox have started the second half with back-to-back wins.

Boston now has won six of its last seven games. The Red Sox’s last eight home wins have been decided by one run.

Mike Napoli delivered the big blow Saturday. He crushed a solo homer over everything in the sixth inning to put the Red Sox in front.

Rubby De La Rosa allowed one run on five hits over seven innings. He struck out two, walked four and threw 104 pitches (61 strikes) while earning his third victory of the season.

Shane Victorino went 1-for-3 in his first game off the disabled list.

The Red Sox and Royals will play one more game Sunday at Fenway Park. Jon Lester will face Yordano Ventura in the series finale.

End 8th, Red Sox 2-1: Wade Davis navigated through the middle of the Red Sox’s order in the eighth inning.

David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes failed to build on the one-run cushion.

Koji Uehara now enters looking for the save. The Red Sox are 33-0 this season when leading after eight innings.

Mid 8th, Red Sox 2-1: Andrew Miller tossed a 1-2-3 eighth inning.

Miller continues to boost his free-agent stock with each solid effort. The left-hander struck out Alex Gordon to cap his perfect eighth.

Rubby De La Rosa was very good for the first seven innings. He allowed one run on five hits while striking out two. De La Rosa did issue four walks, but he made big pitches when necessary.

End 7th, Red Sox 2-1: The Red Sox stranded a runner at third base in the seventh inning.

Jackie Bradley Jr. and Brock Holt singled in the seventh, setting up runners at the corners with two outs for Dustin Pedroia.

The Royals turned to their bullpen and called upon Jason Frasor, who retired Pedroia on a ground ball to short.

Royals starter Danny Duffy surrendered two runs (one earned) on six hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out two, walked three and threw 97 pitches (57 strikes).

Andrew Miller will pitch the eighth inning for Boston after seven solid frames from Rubby De La Rosa.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 2-1: Rubby De La Rosa has given the Red Sox seven innings of one-run ball.

De La Rosa retired Alcides Escobar, Jarrod Dyson and Omar Infante in order in the seventh with Andrew Miller warming up in the bullpen.

De La Rosa has thrown 104 pitches (61 strikes) to this point, so that likely marked the right-hander’s final inning.

End 6th, Red Sox 2-1: Mike Napoli sent one into orbit in the sixth inning.

Napoli crushed a solo homer over the Green Monster and onto Lansdowne Street. There was zero doubt off the bat that the ball was leaving the yard.

Jonny Gomes made some noise with a deep fly ball of his own. It stayed in the park, though, and center fielder Jarrod Dyson made the catch for the second out.

Shane Victorino grounded out to end the inning.

The home run was Napoli’s 11th of the season. The Red Sox lead 2-1.

Mid 6th, 1-1: Rubby De La Rosa has issued four walks, which is the most he has allowed in any appearance with the Red Sox.

Alex Gordon singled into left field in the sixth inning. He laced a sharp grounder past a diving Xander Bogaerts.

De La Rosa uncorked a wild pitch with Billy Butler batting and then walked Mike Moustakas with two down.

De La Rosa again avoided any damage by recording a big out when necessary. The righty got Nori Aoki to hit a lazy ground ball to second base.

End 5th, 1-1: Danny Duffy quickly handled business in the fifth inning.

Christian Vazquez, Brock Holt and Dustin Pedroia each put the ball in the air against the young lefty.

Vazquez and Holt popped out to third base and shortstop, respectively. Pedroia flied out right field.

Mid 5th, 1-1: Jonny Gomes and Brock Holt really aren’t on the same page.

One inning after the two combined for an inexplicable defensive miscue, Omar Infante lifted another popup into short left field. Holt, apparently thinking (or knowing?) Gomes called for it, headed back toward the infield. Gomes didn’t continue charging in, though, and the ball dropped between them, allowing Infante to scamper into second.

Fortunately for the Red Sox, Rubby De La Rosa — like he did in the fourth inning — picked up his teammates with an inning-ending strikeout.

End 4th, 1-1: Shane Victorino already is making an impact, though it was an error by shortstop Alcides Escobar that enabled Boston to tie the game in the fourth inning.

Mike Napoli dropped a one-out single into shallow center field. Jonny Gomes followed with a walk, putting two on for Victorino.

Victorino ripped a hard grounder to short. The ball ate up Escobar and squirted into left field, allowing Napoli to score easily from second base.

Danny Duffy avoided any additional damage by retiring Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr.

Mid 4th, Royals 1-0: Jonny Gomes and Brock Holt weren’t on the same page in the fourth inning, but Rubby De La Rosa avoided any damage following a defensive miscue.

De La Rosa walked Alex Gordon, after which the right-hander induced a ground ball to short, where Holt started an easy double play.

Mike Moustakas reached, however, when Gomes and Holt both appeared to call for a popup into short left field. The ball hit off their gloves and rolled away, allowing Moustakas to take second base.

De La Rosa exited the inning by striking out Nori Aoki.

End 3rd, Royals 1-0: The Red Sox couldn’t cash in on a leadoff walk in the third inning.

Christian Vazquez was issued a free pass to begin the third. He quickly was wiped off the bases, though, as Brock Holt grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

Dustin Pedroia gave one a ride to the warning track in left field, but Alex Gordon drifted back to make a routine catch in front of the wall.

Mid 3rd, Royals 1-0: The Royals, like they did Friday, have struck first.

Jarrod Dyson led off with a line drive into the triangle. Jackie Bradley Jr. was playing shallow, so it took him a long time to retrieve the baseball. Dyson motored his way around the bases and ended up tossing on the brakes after a wide turn around third base.

Omar Infante followed with a fly ball to medium-depth center field. Bradley put himself into a good position to deliver a strong throw, but Dyson sneaked past Christian Vazquez’s quick tag for the game’s first run.

End 2nd, 0-0: Shane Victorino singled in his first at-bat off the disabled list.

Victorino hit a ground ball back up the middle and into center field with one out in the second inning. It was one of two hits for the Red Sox, who ran into a key out on the bases.

Mike Napoli led off the second with a walk. Jonny Gomes, who drilled a clutch pinch-hit home run in Friday’s win, then yanked a ground ball inside the third base line. Napoli attempted to motor his way to third base, but Gomes’ hot shot ricocheted off the wall that sticks out along the third base line and back toward left fielder Alex Gordon. Gordon threw out Napoli by a mile.

Victorino’s single increased the threat, but Danny Duffy struck out Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. to escape the inning unscathed.

Mid 2nd, 0-0: Rubby De La Rosa allowed a couple of more batters to reach in the second inning. However, he kept Kansas City off the scoreboard, just as he did in the first inning.

Billy Butler singled into center field with one out. De La Rosa then walked Nori Aoki — the right-hander’s second free pass issued — before retiring Alcides Escobar on a fly ball to Shane Victorino.

Victorino will bat for the first time in the bottom of the third.

End 1st, 0-0: The Red Sox went down in order in the first.

Brock Holt smoked a ball to right field. It was right at Nori Aoki.

Dustin Pedroia flied out to center field, and David Ortiz grounded out. Ortiz hacked at a first-pitch fastball from Danny Duffy.

Mid 1st, 0-0: Rubby De La Rosa settled down for a scoreless first inning after throwing five straight balls to open the game.

De La Rosa issued a leadoff walk to Jarrod Dyson, who was doubled up when Omar Infante lined to center field. Dyson was running on the pitch, and the ball was hit hard, so Jackie Bradley Jr. had no problem doubling up Dyson at first base.

Eric Hosmer extended his hit streak to 15 games with a two-out single into right field.

Salvador Perez ended the inning with a slow roller back to the mound.

7:11 p.m.: Rubby De La Rosa’s first pitch is wayyyy outside.

6 p.m.: Shane Victorino will bat sixth and patrol right field in his return.

Victorino will be joined in the outfield by Jonny Gomes (left field) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (center field). Brock Holt will play shortstop with Victorino back, though he’s expected to bounce around the diamond moving forward.

Saturday’s complete lineups are below.

Boston Red Sox (44-52)
Brock Holt, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Shane Victorino, RF
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Christian Vazquez, C

Rubby De La Rosa, RHP (2-2, 2.89 ERA)

Kansas City Royals (48-47)
Jarrod Dyson, CF
Omar Infante, 2B
Eric Hosmer, 1B
Salvador Perez, C
Alex Gordon, LF
Billy Butler, DH
Mike Moustakas, 3B
Nori Aoki, RF
Alcides Escobar, SS

Danny Duffy, LHP (5-9, 2.76 ERA)

5:45 p.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox opened their second half in style Friday, earning a 5-4 win over the Kansas City Royals behind a pair of two-run homers provided by Xander Bogaerts and Jonny Gomes.

Rubby De La Rosa will take the ball Saturday as the Red Sox look to build on the momentum they’re starting to gain. The Sox have won five of their last six games while showing plenty of energy and fight. It’s clear Boston isn’t ready to toss in the towel despite a tumultuous season.

De La Rosa has been impressive this season, particularly at home, which is where he’ll pitch Saturday. De La Rosa owns a 1.42 ERA (three earned runs over 19 innings) in three starts at Fenway this season. He has allowed three runs or fewer in four of his six starts with Boston, including each of his last three outings.

De La Rosa will go up against a talented, young left-hander in Danny Duffy. Duffy, who was ranked Major League Baseball’s No. 68 prospect by Baseball America before the 2011 season, was a third-round pick in 2007. The 25-year-old posted a 1.85 ERA in five starts last season and owns a 2.76 ERA in 19 appearances (13 starts) this season. Unfortunately for Duffy, he’s receiving 2.79 runs of support per nine innings in 2014, which is the lowest in the American League and the second-lowest among major leaguers with at least 80 innings pitched.

The Red Sox will receive a reinforcement Saturday, as Shane Victorino has been activated off the disabled list. Victorino hasn’t appeared in a major league game since May 23, but his return has been much-anticipated.

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

Yardbarker

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 187,376 other followers