Red Sox Wrap: Boston’s Bullpen Implodes Late In 5-3 Loss To Royals

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Any magic left over from Sandy Leon’s acrobatic slide Saturday night didn’t last into Sunday afternoon.

The Boston Red Sox took a tough loss to the Kansas City Royals in the teams’ series finale at Fenway Park, blowing a two-run, eighth-inning lead en route to a 5-3 defeat.

The Sox got an effective start from Drew Pomeranz and held leads of 2-0 and 3-1, but the bullpen collapsed in the eighth, allowing Kansas City to escape with the series win.

Boston drops to 57-49 with the loss, its sixth defeat in eight games.

Here’s how this one went down.

GAME IN A WORD
Spoiled.

A solid appearance by Pomeranz, Rafael Devers’ first Fenway homer, a celebration of the 2007 world champion Red Sox — all were dampened by an ineffective bullpen, which allowed four runs in the eighth inning to cough away Boston’s lead.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Alex Gordon smacked a two-run triple into the gap.

Gordon’s clutch hit broke a 3-3 deadlock and capped off a huge eighth frame for the Royals, who rallied to steal this one.

ON THE BUMP
— Pomeranz put forth another strong outing, escaping a few pockets of danger to allow just one run over 6 2/3 innings.

The left-hander cruised through the first three innings before running into trouble in the fourth, when Alcides Escobar slapped a two-out RBI single to put Kansas City on the board. But Pomeranz bore down, getting a double play to stay out of trouble in the fifth and recording three straight outs after a Lorenzo Cain leadoff triple in the sixth.

The veteran surrendered seven hits and recorded just one walk while striking out four before departing with a runner on in the seventh inning.

— Brandon Workman put runners on second and third by giving up a Drew Butera double but averted any damage with a huge strikeout of Jorge Bonifacio to end the Royals’ threat.

— Matt Barnes faced four batters in the eighth inning and failed to record an out. Escobar tagged the right-hander with a two-RBI single that tied the score at 3-3 and chased Barnes from the contest. Barnes was charged with all four runs in the inning, but only three were earned thanks to a Xander Bogaerts error.

— Robby Scott relieved Barnes and promptly surrendered a triple to Gordon that plated Barnes’ two inherited runners. He recorded two outs before giving way to Heath Hembree.

— Hembree retired the only batter he faced in the eighth and worked a scoreless ninth.

IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox struck early in this one, getting RBI singles from Mitch Moreland and Christian Vazquez in the second inning to take a two-run lead.

— Moreland (2-for-4, RBI) and Hanley Ramirez (2-for-4, run scored) both had solid days at the dish.

— Devers tacked on Boston’s third run in the fifth inning with a solo shot to left field, his first Fenway Park homer.

— Eduardo Nunez came down to earth a bit after his scorching hot start. The Sox newcomer went 0-for-3 from the No. 2 spot, although he did tally a stolen base.

— The Red Sox rallied to load the bases with two outs in the ninth inning, but Mookie Betts flew out to center to end the ballgame.

TWEET OF THE DAY
So, about those potential bullpen targets

UP NEXT
The Red Sox have no time to sulk, as they kick off a three-game series Monday against the American League Central-leading Cleveland Indians. Doug Fister is set to oppose Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger, with first pitch at 7:08 p.m. ET from Fenway Park.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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