Jackie Bradley Jr. has made numerous amazing catches for the Boston Red Sox, but this time he should have let the ball drop.
The Red Sox and Kansas City Royals were deadlocked during the seventh inning Monday night when Drew Butera hit a laser to left-center field. Bradley, who had been shading toward right field, took off on a dead sprint when the ball left Butera’s bat, attempting to make another highlight-reel play.
The talented center fielder left his feet but it was to no avail. The ball skipped past Bradley and rolled to the wall, allowing Butera to motor around to third base. The Royals took the lead one batter later and would tack on another run in a 4-2 victory at Kauffman Stadium.
The Red Sox fell to 39-31 with the loss, while the Royals improved to 34-35 with the win.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
Both starting pitchers entered the game with ERAs above five, but neither Hector Velazquez nor Jason Hammel looked the part Monday night. Velazquez allowed only two earned runs through 5 1/3 innings, while Hammel tossed seven strong innings for the Royals.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Mitch Moreland flew out with a runner on third to end the game.
The Red Sox sent the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning, but Kelvin Herrera got Xander Bogaerts to line out and Moreland to fly out to end the game.
ON THE BUMP
— Velazquez gave the Red Sox everything they asked for Monday night. The righty tossed 5 1/3 innings, surrendering two runs on five hits while striking out three.
The Royals got to the right-hander in the third inning when Eric Hosmer blasted a two-run home run to deep center field in the third inning to give Kansas City a two-run lead.
Velazquez cruised through the fourth and fifth innings, retiring the last eight batters he faced in his outing.
— Fernando Abad relieved Velazquez and gave up a walk and a bunt single to the two batters he faced.
— Blaine Boyer recorded the final two outs of the sixth inning. Boyer came back out for the seventh and surrendered a triple to Butera when Bradley was unable to make a diving catch. Whit Merrifield followed by ripping a single to left field to give the Royals a one-run lead. After Merrifield moved to second base on a ground out, Lorenzo Cain drove him in with an RBI single to right.
— Robby Scott got the final out of the seventh inning.
— Austin Maddox pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Bradley tied the game when he launched a two-run home run off Hammel in the fourth inning.
— The Red Sox threatened in the eighth inning when they loaded the bases with two outs for Christian Vazquez, but he grounded out to end the inning.
–Mookie Betts, Josh Rutledge, Moreland and Vazquez all went hitless.
— Hanley Ramirez went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
— Andrew Benintendi went 2-for-5 with a single and a triple.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
You can take your time, JBJ.
The Red Sox will resume their three-game series against the Royals on Tuesday night. Chris Sale will get the ball for Boston and will be opposed by Matt Strahm. First pitch from Kauffman Stadium is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports Images