The Red Sox allowed a season-high 20 hits, and every Royal had at least one hit. But before you call it a fluke, look at the numbers. Kansas City leads the majors in hits and batting average.
Clay Buchholz will aim to quiet those bats on Saturday. Tune in to NESN at 6 p.m. for Olympia Sports Presents The Boston Globe Red Sox GameDay Live. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.
Final, Royals 12-5: Put a fork in this one. Dustin Pedroia grounds into a 1-4-3 double play to end the game. Mercifully.
The Red Sox have lost back-to-back games for the first time since May 15-17.
10:16 p.m.: Anybody know any good jokes?
Mid 9th, Royals 12-5: Hall can add another position to his utilty bag of tricks — reliever. The veteran made quick work of the Royals.
Will Terry Francona consider making Hall a bridge to Jonathan Papelbon when Daniel Bard needs a breather?
10:10 p.m.: Now pitching, Bill Hall. The book on Hall is sneaky fast with great command.
So far, the book is on the money.
End 8th, Royals 12-5: Pray for the olld seven-run home run.
Mid 8th, Royals 12-5: The Red Sox need a pep talk. To quote Rob Schneider’s character from The Waterboy: “You can do it.”
9:53 p.m.: After all the ground the Red Sox made up in the standings the last week, they’re doing their best to give it all back.
Sisyphus, the king who spent an eternity rolling a boulder up a hill, could muscle in on Wally the Green Monster’s territory if this trend continues.
9:46 p.m.: Would you like spaghetti and sauce with that meatball? Hideki Okajima serves up Mitch Maier’s first home run of the season.
Royals 12, Red Sox 5.
In other action, the White Sox beat the Rays 4-2, the Yankees are clobbering the Indians 8-2 in the eighth, and the Blue Jays shut out the Orioles 5-0.
End 7th, Royals 10-5: Pedroia, Ortiz and Youkilis go down 1-2-3. The Red Sox are running out of innings to stage a rally.
Mid 7th, Royals 10-5: Kansas City tacks on another run.
In the immortal words of Vince Lombardi, what the hell’s going on out here? This isn’t the team that swept the Rays.
9:30 p.m.: Casey Kelly pitches Monday for the Portland Sea Dogs.
He isn’t expected to make an appearance at Fenway this season, but perhaps he should at some point.
9:22 p.m.: Speaking of West, MLB fined the umpire, Ozzie Guillen and Mark Buehrle for their roles in a brouhaha over balks earlier this week.
West opened himself up to criticism after criticizing the Red Sox and Yankees for their glacial pace. Maybe he was right, but that wasn’t his place to offer a public opinion. Now the spotlight is on him. Anything he says or does is going to be magnified and scrutinized. He won’t be able to eat a dozen glazed donuts in peace anymore.
End 6th, Royals 9-5: Now the game is moving along at a brisk pace. Joe West might have time for a late dinner/early breakfast.
But that’s bad news for the Red Sox. The bats better come back to the life, or they will be the owners of a two-game losing streak.
Mid 6th, Royals 9-5: The standings say the Royals are 20-28, but they’re playing like World Series contenders in Boston.
9:09 p.m.: The Royals now have 16 hits.
End 5th, Royals 9-5: Three up, three down.
That’s not going to help the Red Sox’ cause.
Mid 5th, Royals 9-5: Paging Red Sox bats. We have an emergency.
8:53 p.m.: If the Royals had played like this when Trey Hillman was manager, he’d still have a job.
End 4th, Royals 9-5: David Ortiz strikes out to end the inning.
On the bright side, Davies is approaching 100 pitches. The quicker the Red Sox can get to the Royals’ bullpen the better. Kansas City relievers rank 23rd in the majors in ERA.
8:38 p.m.:: Get ready for a slugfest.
Mid 4th, Royals 9-5: Scott Atchison stops the bleeding. After giving up a single and stolen base to Jason Kendall, he gets Scott Podsedik to ground out to first.
The bullpen returned from St. Petersburg rested, but at this rate, Francona could be looking for Jonathan Van Every to mop up.
8:34 p.m.: Somebody check Logan Airport. The Red Sox may have forgotten their pitching on the baggage carousel.
8:33 p.m.:: Forget about Tim Wakefield picking up his second win of the season. After giving up a grand salami to Yuniesky Betancourt, Wake is headed to the showers.Wakefield’s line might make you feel like Alvin Gentry did at the Staples Center on Thursday night: 3 2/3 IP, 12 H, 9 R (all earned), 3 BB, 1 K.
The Royals posted nine runs against the veteran right-hander. That’s not how the Red Sox scripted it.
8:32 p.m.: Wonder what Joe West thinks about the pace of this game?
8:29 p.m.: So much for a pitchers’ duel. The Royals have tied the game at five.
8:22 p.m.: Dwight Evans has stopped by the booth to visit with Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy.
Evans and Remy — who are both being honored by The Tradition this year — are sharing batting tips on to hit a knuckleball. The Royals must have the broadcast on in the dugout because Wakefield isn’t fooling anyone.
End 3rd, Red Sox 5-2: Victor Martinez has found his power stroke. The catcher goes deep to right-center to extend Boston’s lead.
8:15 p.m.: Youk draws his major league-best 30th walk of May. He’s closing in the Red Sox’ all-time mark for walks in a month (34), which is held by Ted Williams.Teddy Ballgame is going to need some votes to advance to the finals in Boston’s Biggest Sports Legend tournament. He trailing Bobby Orr 57 percent to 43 percent in the poll.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 3-2: The Royals are back in the game.
DeJesus drove in K.C.’s first with a double. He continues to rake. Mitch Maier put the Royals within one by driving in Jose Guillen with a single.
7:59 p.m.: The Yankees are leading the Indians 2-0 in the bottom of the third, and the Rays are behind 2-1 to the White Sox in the top of the fourth.
This AL East race is just getting started this summer.
End 2nd, Red Sox 3-0:Davies settles down after a rough first inning and sets the Red Sox down in order.
7:54 p.m.: Nobody hacks like Dustin Pedroia. The second baseman gets his money’s worth with every cut.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 3-0:The knuckler is knuckling. It could be a long night for Royals hitters.
7:42 p.m.: Baseball is a simple game — throw the ball, hit the ball, catch the ball — but it’s impossible to predict.
Offense was supposed to be the weak link of the Red Sox, and they lead the majors in runs. The pitching staff was supposed to be the best staff since the 1970 Orioles, but they opened the year more like the Bad News Bears. Now, everything is falling in place.
The Rays and Yankees better watch out. The Red Sox have found their A-game.
End 1st, Red Sox 3-0: The Red Sox waste no time jumping on Kyle Davies. Marco Scutaro leads off with a double, and David Ortiz drives him in with a single. After Kevin Youkilis walks, Victor Martinez plates Ortiz and Youk with a double to deep center.
Ortiz now has raised his average to .271 and has 28 RBIs. If he keeps hitting, he could be spending the All-Star break in Anaheim on the AL All-Star team.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Wakefield allows one single to David DeJesus in the top of the first and then sets the Royals down. DeJesus extends his hitting streak to 10 games.
Kevin Millar had an interesting way of describing Wake’s knuckleball on the pregame show. Millar called it a Bugs Bunny pitch because of the way the ball dips and darts. As a result, every time Millar faced Wakefield, the Coloful One took the same approach at the plate — swing for the fences. Any other approach was pointless.
That makes sense. Wake can get a batter off his game for days. So could Bugs — the rabbit had some pretty good stuff.
7:12 p.m.: We’re under way.
7:11 p.m.: The Red Sox begin the night in third place in the AL East, 6 1/2 games behind the Rays and two games behind the Yankees.
6:46 p.m.:Tim Wakefield has enjoyed success against the Royals. He allowed only two runs in seven innings at Kaufmann Stadium on April 9 in his first start of the season for a no-decision.
The veteran knuckleballer has gone 7-4 with a 3.46 ERA in 15 career games (12 starts) against the Royals.
With a win Friday night, Wakefield will have 177 wins with the Red Sox — 15 shy of tying the franchise record held by Roger Clemens and Cy Young. At one time, seeing those two names atop the Red Sox record book made perfect sense. Now, they go together like filet mignon and dog food.
6:41 p.m.: Daisuke Matsuzaka wasn’t able to carry over the momentum of his near no-hiter to the mound in the series opener against the Royals. Will he ever be a consistent starter?
6:27 p.m.: Major League Baseball is not happy with Joe West. According to a Yahoo Sports report, West will be fined or suspended for stirring up trouble. It’s about time.
Look, umpires have a tough job. But in the past few seasons, they have become too much of the story. A good umpire should not be making headlines. They should be making good calls, and moving the game along.
Some umps need a reality check. They are not the stars, and nobody is paying to watch them to ring somebody up or throw somebody out.
5:38 p.m.: Don’t call this a lost year for Jacoby Ellsbury, but he is growing frustrated. Before the game, the Red Sox put him back on the DL for the second time this season.
5:03 p.m.: Victor Martinez returns to the starting lineup and will bat fifth. After a slow April (.238, 1 HR, 5 RBIs), Martinez has picked up the pace in May (.275, 5, 15).
So have the Red Sox, who share the major league lead in runs scored (255) with the Blue Jays.
Here are the complete lineups.
Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Victor Martinez, C
J.D. Drew, RF
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Jeremy Hermida, LF
Scott Podsednik, LF
Mike Aviles, 2B
David DeJesus, RF
Billy Butler, 1B
Jose Guillen, DH
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Mitch Maier, CF
Rafael Betancourt, SS
Jason Kendall, C
9:34 a.m.: Tim Wakefield looks to win consecutive starts for the first time since last June when he leads the Red Sox into a Friday night matchup with the Kansas City Royals.
Wakefield is coming off his best outing of the season. He threw eight shutout innings opposite Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay on Sunday, spearheading an 8-3 victory.
The 43-year-old knuckleballer will attempt to pick up the Sox after they suffered a 4-3 loss in the opener of the four-game series Thursday. Daisuke Matsuzaka walked eight men, matching a career high, in lasting just 4 2/3 innings.
We may get more updates on outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who is being examined again Friday morning. Also, catcher Victor Martinez is expected to return from a bruised left big toe, but the club will see how he feels upon arriving at the park.
Kyle Davies goes for the Royals, who have won nine of 14.