BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox had victory within their grasp Sunday afternoon, but they couldn’t secure one final out in the ninth inning and lost 8-6 to the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park.
Boston took a 6-4 lead into the ninth inning, but reliever Junichi Tazawa gave up six hits and four runs. The Red Sox weren’t able to make up the deficit in the bottom half of the frame and fell to 6-4 on the 10-game homestand.
Here’s a recap of the series finale.
GAME IN A WORD
Amid rainy conditions that caused terrible visibility at the ballpark, Tazawa’s collapse gave the Royals the lead and the game — making that temporary Red Sox lead just a foggy memory.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
In addition to Tazawa’s struggles in the ninth inning, the Red Sox had a man on first with one out in the bottom of the inning thanks to Jackie Bradley Jr.’s third hit of the game, but Mookie Betts and Pablo Sandoval couldn’t advance JBJ any further.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Xander Bogaerts collected Boston’s first hit with a first-inning single.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. got the Red Sox on the board with an RBI double in the second inning that scored Castillo from first base. He also hit an RBI double in the seventh inning that scored Ryan Hanigan and gave Boston a 5-4 lead. Bradley was 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs and two runs scored.
— Josh Rutledge doubled Boston’s second-inning lead to 2-0 with an RBI single up the middle that scored Bradley. He finished 1-for-2.
— Castillo hit an infield single in the second inning and an RBI single in the sixth inning that tied the game 4-4. He finished 2-for-3.
— David Ortiz was 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly that scored Pablo Sandoval in the sixth inning.
— Travis Shaw was 1-for-3 with a run scored.
— Mookie Betts (0-for-5) and Ortiz (0-for-3) were the only Red Sox starters without a hit.
ON THE BUMP
— Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez retired the Royals in order in the first inning. He also took a ground ball off the lower leg and appeared to be in a bit of pain, but he remained in the game. The 22-year-old gave up a run in the second inning as the Royals used a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly to score.
Rodriguez allowed two runs in the fourth inning, but both of them were unearned because of two errors on one play. Sox second baseman Josh Rutledge wasn’t able to field a ground ball up the middle, which allowed Eric Hosmer to advance to third base, and then he scored because Pablo Sandoval wasn’t able to scoop Mookie Betts’ throw to third from center field and the ball sailed into the KC dugout.
Rodriguez allowed a homer to Mike Moustakas in the sixth inning that gave the Royals a 4-2 lead.
His final line: seven hits, four runs (two earned), one strikeout and no walks in 104 pitches (71 strikes) over six innings. He earned a no-decision.
— Alexi Ogando entered in the seventh inning and threw 26 pitches. He gave up one hit, struck out one batter and allowed Lorenzo Cain to reach safely on a hit-by-pitch. Left-hander Tommy Layne came in and recorded the final out of the inning. Layne also retired the first two batters of the eighth inning, and then he was replaced by Jean Machi, who got Alex Rios to fly out to left field to end the inning.
— Junichi Tazawa gave up six hits, one walk and four earned runs in the ninth inning, which allowed Kansas City to take an 8-4 lead. He took the loss.
Boston will travel to Chicago for a three-game series against the White Sox beginning Monday night. Joe Kelly (Red Sox) and Jeff Samardzija (White Sox) are the probable starting pitchers.
Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images