Greg Holland shut the door on the Sox in the 10th inning to pick up his second save of the day, and Boston has dropped both games of Sunday’s doubleheader.
Allen Webster went six innings in his major league debut, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits. He struck out five, walked one and hit a batter. The Red Sox held a 4-3 lead when he departed, but the bullpen wasn’t able to hold on for the rookie.
Billy Butler tied the game in the eighth inning with a home run off the usually reliable Koji Uehara. The Red Sox nearly grabbed a victory in the bottom of the ninth, as they got Jacoby Ellsbury into scoring position, but the rally came up short. The Royals took the lead in the 10th inning when Andrew Miller struggled with his control.
It was an all-around difficult day for the Red Sox, and they’ll look to get back on track Monday, when Felix Doubront takes the hill in the first of three games against the Athletics.
Good night, everyone.
Mid 10th, Royals 5-4: Control issues got the best of Andrew Miller in the 10th inning.
Miller started the inning by striking out Miguel Tejada (yes, that Miguel Tejada), who pinch-hit for Elliot Johnson. However, he then gave up a single to Alex Gordon and walked Alcides Escobar to find himself in some serious trouble.
Miller came within an out of escaping the jam by striking out Billy Butler, whose home run in the eighth inning tied the game. Miller gave up a single to Eric Hosmer and walked Lorenzo Cain on four pitches, though, and the Royals will carry a lead into the bottom of the 10th.
Miller ensured the deficit would remain just one run by getting Mike Moustakas to ground out, but the Red Sox are three outs away from being swept in this doubleheader.
End 9th, 4-4: The Red Sox and Royals have decided two full games isn’t enough. Game 2 of the day-night doubleheader is going to extra innings.
It wasn’t before the Red Sox had a chance to grab a win in the bottom of the ninth, though.
Jacoby Ellsbury hit a one-out single into right field and then stole second base with Daniel Nava at the plate. Nava struck out on a 3-2 pitch, which left Dustin Pedroia to be the hero — or so we thought.
The Royals decided to intentionally walk Pedroia to face Mike Napoli, the team’s RBI leader who already has a home run in this game. The move proved to be the right one, as Napoli flew out to center for the ninth inning’s final out.
Napoli’s fly out sent Lorenzo Cain to the warning track, so it was certainly a loud out. But it was an out, nevertheless.
Andrew Miller is coming on to pitch for Boston. And I, for one, am getting another coffee.
Mid 9th, 4-4: We’ll see if Andrew Bailey’s superb ninth inning can give the Red Sox’ offense a jolt.
Bailey cruised through a 1-2-3 top of the ninth, striking out both Jeff Francoeur and George Kottaras to finish it off.
The Sox’ bats will now come up looking to walk off with a win. Pedro Ciriaco, Jacoby Ellsbury and Daniel Nava are due up.
End 8th, 4-4: Kevin Herrera took over for Kansas City in the eighth inning, and he kept the Red Sox’ offense in check. We now have ourselves a one-inning game, or we could end up with some free baseball.
Herrera retired Will Middlebrooks, Mike Carp and David Ross in order. Middlebrooks and Ross each grounded out, while Carp went down by way of the K.
Andrew Bailey will pitch the ninth for Boston. He’s scheduled to face Mike Moustakas, Jeff Francoeur and George Kottaras.
Mid 8th, 4-4: Koji Uehara had essentially been lights out before this game, but Billy Butler wasn’t to be intimidated.
Butler launched his third home run of the season over the Green Monster to tie the game at four apiece.
Eric Hosmer followed up Butler’s blast with a two-out single, but Uehara struck out Lorenzo Cain to avoid any further damage.
Butler’s home run snapped an impressive run for Uehara. The right-hander was in the midst of a 19-inning scoreless streak, which dated back to Sept. 1, 2012. Uehara hadn’t surrendered a run in his last 22 outings.
End 7th, Red Sox 4-3: Dustin Pedroia worked his way up into scoring position against the Royals’ new pitcher, Luke Hochevar, but the score remains the same.
Pedroia walked with one out after Daniel Nava flew out to left. Pedroia nearly got plunked during the at-bat, but Hochevar’s inside offering just missed him, and he eventually worked the free pass.
Mike Napoli then flew out to left field just like Nava, and Pedroia decided to push the envelope a bit with Jarrod Saltalamacchia at the plate. Pedey swiped second, but Salty ended up grounding out to end the frame.
Koji Uehara is now coming on to pitch for Boston.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 4-3: The seventh-inning stretch comes on the heels of a nice inning for Junichi Tazawa.
Jeff Francoeur led off the inning by lining to second base. Dustin Pedroia, who has played sensational defense throughout the game, made a leaping grab to take a hit away.
Tazawa then struck out the next two hitters he faced. The right-hander got George Kottaras on a changeup that dropped off the table, and he then fanned Elliot Johnson with a fastball.
End 6th, Red Sox 4-3: Pedro Ciriaco put up one heck of an at-bat in the sixth inning, although it didn’t amount to anything on the scoreboard.
Mike Carp grounded out and David Ross lined out to give Jeremy Guthrie two quick outs. Ciriaco then put up a 10-pitch at-bat before walking.
Jacoby Ellsbury ended the inning by grounding out to second base.
Junichi Tazawa is now coming on for Boston, meaning the book is closed on Allen Webster’s major league debut. We’ll see if the Red Sox’ bullpen can close the door over the final three innings to get the rookie a win.
Webster went six innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits. He struck out five, walked one and hit a batter. Overall, it wasn’t a bad day for the 23-year-old.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 4-3: Dustin Pedroia has played some solid defense in this game.
After Billy Butler walked, Eric Hosmer grounded into what had the potential to be a 4-6-3 double play. Hosmer managed to beat out Pedro Ciriaco’s throw to first, though.
With one out, Pedroia flashed some leather. Lorenzo Cain hit a line drive to the right side, and Pedey made a diving play. Pedroia tried to toss to first in an effort to double up Hosmer, but the Royals first baseman dove back to the bag just in time.
Mike Moustakas popped out to Pedroia in shallow right field to end the inning.
End 5th, Red Sox 4-3: The Red Sox were certainly hoping for more, but they still managed to regain the lead.
Daniel Nava worked a one-out walk. Dustin Pedroia then hit a ground ball down to third. Mike Moustakas made a nice backhanded play and fired to second, but a hustling Nava just beat out his throw.
With two on, Mike Napoli singled into center field. Nava had to hold up briefly to make sure the ball cleared the glove of a leaping Alcides Escobar, but he was still able to score once he put his foot on the gas.
Napoli soon moved up to second base on a passed ball, putting runners at second and third with one out for Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Salty struck out, though, and Will Middlebrooks ended the inning by grounding out to short.
The Sox will take it, considering they now hold the lead, but they certainly had an opportunity to tack on some insurance as well.
Mid 5th, 3-3: The Royals broke out the big sticks in the fifth.
George Kottaras and Alex Gordon each went deep in the inning, and we’re suddenly looking at a tie ballgame at Fenway.
Kottaras’ blast landed in the Kansas City bullpen in right field, while Gordon went to the opposite field up over the Monster.
Allen Webster did strike out two hitters in the inning. He got Jeff Francoeur swinging on a 3-2 fastball and then got Elliot Johnson to wave at a changeup. The damage was obviously done, though.
End 4th, Red Sox 3-1: The Royals’ outfield had an embarrassing miscue, but it didn’t end up costing them.
Mike Carp lifted a fly ball to left-center field with one out. Center fielder Lorenzo Cain and left fielder Alex Gordon both converged on it, and it landed in between them and rolled to the wall, which allowed Carp to get all the way to third base.
The Sox couldn’t take advantage of the awful D, though.
David Ross hit a hard ground ball to third base, and Mike Moustakas threw his body in front of it to knock it down before firing to first for the second out.
Pedro Ciriaco grounded to second to end the inning.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 3-1: Allen Webster plunked the second batter of the fourth inning, but a beautiful throw by David Ross saved the rookie.
Webster got Eric Hosmer to ground out to lead off the inning before drilling Lorenzo Cain. Cain then tried to steal second, but Ross delivered a strike right on the money to throw him out.
Mike Moustakas ended the inning with a fly out to right.
End 3rd, Red Sox 3-1: Mike Napoli was about a foot away from picking up his second home run in as many innings. Regardless, the Red Sox added a run in the third.
Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 11 games by slapping a leadoff double off the left-field wall. He would move to third on a Daniel Nava ground out, and then score when Dustin Pedroia singled into center field.
Pedroia was caught trying to steal second, but Napoli almost added another run for Boston. He lifted a fly ball to center field that struck high off the wall, resulting in a double for the Red Sox slugger.
With Napoli on second, Jarrod Saltalamacchia pulled a hot shot to the right side. First baseman Eric Hosmer couldn’t handle the play, and the ball ricocheted to second baseman Elliot Johnson. Napoli took an aggressive turn around third base, though, and the Royals were able to tag him out in no man’s land.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 2-1: Allen Webster was once again very efficient in the third.
Webster gave up a two-out single to Alcides Escobar, but he made sure it didn’t lead to any further trouble.
Webster first froze Elliot Johnson with a changeup to pick up his third strikeout of the contest. He then got Alex Gordon to ground out to first base before Escobar blooped a base knock in front of Mike Carp in left field.
Billy Butler popped out to end the inning.
The biggest question mark surrounding Webster has always been his control. He showed vast improvement in that area during spring training, though, and he’s been very efficient with his pitches in this game.
Webster has thrown 36 pitches, and 27 have been strikes. He hasn’t walked a batter through his first three innings.
End 2nd, Red Sox 2-1: The Red Sox gave the rookie some run support in the second inning.
Mike Napoli led off with a towering home run that sailed over everything in left field. It was Napoli’s third blast of the season.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia then walked, and two batters later, Mike Carp planted a double off the left-field wall. The ball plunked off the Monster and bounced back over the head of left fielder Alex Gordon, which allowed Saltalamacchia to score all the way from first base.
Mid 2nd, Royals 1-0: Allen Webster’s second big league inning was relatively uneventful when stacked up against his first frame.
Webster took care of business, retiring Mike Moustakas, Jeff Francoeur and George Kottaras in order.
Moustakas and Kottaras each grounded out to second base, while Francoeur popped out to second.
End 1st, Royals 1-0: Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a walk and moved up into scoring position, but the Red Sox’ threat was derailed by an unfortunate turn of events.
Ellsbury took second base on a wild pitch with Daniel Nava at the plate. Ellsbury then took off for third on Jeremy Guthrie’s 1-2 pitch, but Nava hit a frozen rope right at first baseman Eric Hosmer. Hosmer made the play and then threw to second to easily double up Ellsbury.
Dustin Pedroia grounded out to his counterpart at second base to end the inning.
Mid 1st, Royals 1-0: Allen Webster is probably wondering what the deal is with major league defense. He saw both the good and the bad in the first inning.
The first pitch of Webster’s big league career was labeled off the Green Monster by Alex Gordon, who cruised into second with a double.
Alcides Escobar then grounded into the hole between third and short. Pedro Ciriaco, who is getting the start at shortstop, made an excellent diving stop. There was nothing excellent about his throw, though.
Ciriaco popped to his feet and threw the ball over the Red Sox’ dugout and into the first few rows of seats. Escobar was given second base, while Gordon came in to score on the play.
After that, Webster settled down, striking out both Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer. Butler was tardy on a 97-mph heater, while Hosmer chased a nasty offspeed offering in the dirt.
The inning ended with a nifty play from Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli. Pedroia showed great range while tracking down a ground ball up the middle, and Napoli showed some good glovework on a throw that was in the dirt.
7:06 p.m.: The first pitch of Allen Webster’s career is drilled off the left-field wall by Alex Gordon. Welcome to The Show, kid.
6:55 p.m.: I’m sure plenty of Red Sox fans are anxious to see Allen Webster pitch. The hard-throwing right-hander has emerged as one of Boston’s top prospects since coming over in last August’s megadeal with the Dodgers, and his stuff is downright filthy.
Webster was rated the No. 49 prospect in baseball by Baseball America prior to this season.
Many Sox fans came to know Webster during spring training, when he was dominant at times. Webster fanned 14 hitters over 11 Grapefruit League innings. He allowed just two earned runs (1.64 ERA) in four outings.
At 23 years old, Webster is the youngest pitcher to appear in a game for the Red Sox since Felix Doubront in 2010 (22 years old).
6:18 p.m.: The lineups are in. Check them out below.
Red Sox (12-5)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Daniel Nava, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, DH
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Mike Carp, LF
David Ross, C
Pedro Ciriaco, SS
Allen Webster, RHP
Alex Gordon, LF
Alcides Escobar, SS
Billy Butler, DH
Eric Hosmer, 1B
Lorenzo Cain, CF
Mike Moustakas, 3B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
George Kottaras, C
Elliot Johnson, 2B
Jeremy Guthrie, RHP
6:15 p.m. ET: The Red Sox saw their seven-game winning streak get snapped on Sunday afternoon. Fortunately, they’ll have a chance to try and start a new streak almost immediately.
The Royals took Game 1 of the day-night doubleheader behind seven solid innings from Ervin Santana. Ryan Dempster wasn’t all that bad in his seven innings of work, but a three-run fourth inning proved to be costly. The Sox did rally a bit in the eighth, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded back to the mound with the bases loaded, and that all but ended Boston’s chances.
On Sunday night, the Red Sox will turn to a 23-year-old rookie. Allen Webster, who was very impressive during his stint with the big league club in spring training, will make his major league debut. He’ll go up against Jeremy Guthrie.
Sunday’s nightcap is scheduled to get going at 7 p.m. ET, so be sure to stick around.
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