BOSTON — The homestand is going well.
The Red Sox defeated the Kansas City Royals 4-1 on Thursday night at Fenway Park, giving Boston three straight wins and improving the club’s record to 5-2 on its current 10-game homestand.
The Royals entered the series with the best record in the American League. The Red Sox have had their number, though. Boston is a Major League Baseball-best 9-2 against Kansas City since the beginning of 2014 after nailing down Thursday’s series opener.
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox played a rather clean game with the exception of an error by Pablo Sandoval in the eighth inning. Wade Miley led the charge with an excellent performance from the mound.
Boston staked Miley to an early lead and the left-hander didn’t disappoint. He remained in the driver’s seat throughout his outing as the Red Sox held on for their third straight victory.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Jackie Bradley Jr. tripled down the right field line in the third inning.
Bradley’s triple plated Ryan Hanigan, who extended Boston’s lead to 3-0 moments earlier with a two-run single into center field. Bradley has 12 extra-base hits over his last nine games.
ON THE BUMP
— Miley was very effective. The left-hander, who snapped a seven-start winless drought his last time out, now has back-to-back victories to put his record above .500 (10-9).
Miley allowed one run on six hits over 7 1/3 innings, marking his 13th consecutive outing of at least five innings. He struck out six and didn’t walk anyone while tossing 114 pitches (80 strikes).
Miley’s only blemish came on a fifth-inning home run by Mike Moustakas. The All-Star third baseman hooked a line drive just inside Pesky’s Pole.
Miley is 9-5 with a 3.80 ERA in his last 19 starts since May 13 after going 1-4 with a 6.91 ERA in his first six starts in a Red Sox uniform.
— Alexi Ogando walked Lorenzo Cain to bring the potential tying run to the plate in the eighth inning. Robbie Ross Jr. escaped a first-and-third jam unscathed by striking out Eric Hosmer.
— Junichi Tazawa recorded the final three outs.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Travis Shaw drew a bases-loaded walk in the first inning to put the Red Sox on the scoreboard. He also doubled off the Green Monster in the third inning and singled into right field in the eighth inning.
Shaw has reached base at least twice in five consecutive games.
— The Red Sox are 9-0 when Hanigan drives in at least one run. Boston is 21-19 in games he starts.
— Bradley’s last nine hits all have gone for extra bases.
— Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts each had two hits.
Betts scored Boston’s first run in the first inning when Shaw drew a five-pitch walk with the bases loaded. Sandoval singled and David Ortiz walked to help pack the bags for Shaw.
— The Red Sox finished with 10 hits. David Ortiz (0-for-3, walk) and Hanley Ramirez (0-for-4, run scored) were the only hitters in Boston’s starting lineup without a hit.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Wade Miley (28) is the oldest pitcher in Boston's rotation, and since Buchholz went down, he's also been the most consistent. 7.1 IP, 1 ER.—
Alec Shirkey (@AShirkey) August 21, 2015
The Red Sox and Royals will do it again Friday night with a rather interesting pitching matchup. Henry Owens will face Johnny Cueto.
Owens, one of the organization’s top prospects, will make his fourth career major league start. Cueto, who the Royals acquired before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, is one of the best pitchers in baseball and is set to become a free agent this offseason.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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