The Kansas City Royals started from the bottom Tuesday night.
Kansas City’s Nos. 7, 8 and 9 hitters combined to go 8-for-12 with five RBIs and five runs scored as the Royals handed the Boston Red Sox an 8-4 loss in the opener of the teams’ three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
Cheslor Cuthbert went 3-for-4 with a double, Omar Infante scored twice and helped initiate the Royals’ three-run eighth inning with a perfectly placed bunt, and Paulo Orlando enjoyed the most productive night of all from the No. 9 hole, going 3-for-4 with a triple, a home run and a career high-tying four RBIs.
Orlando, who plays sparingly for the defending World Series champs, had driven in just one run and accumulated a mere 47 at-bats this season before Tuesday.
Some additional notes from Tuesday night:
— Five of Kansas City’s eight runs were charged to Red Sox starter Rick Porcello, who turned in his worst outing of the season for Boston. The right-hander allowed eight hits — including a solo home run by Eric Hosmer — walked two and failed to complete six innings for the first time in 16 starts.
“He is a contact pitcher,” Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters after the game, as aired on “Red Sox Extra Innings LIVE.” “… He’s going to pitch to contact. But when they bunch them together, that was the issue (Tuesday night).”
— Farrell was ejected from his second game this season after arguing a strike call during a seventh-inning at-bat by Mookie Betts.
?I thought there were a number of at-bats there — a couple of at-bats (Tuesday night), particularly in Mookie?s case,” Farrell told reporters. “You can?t always tell the width of the plate, but you can tell elevation from the dugout, and I obviously had a disagreement with a couple of pitches.”
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A Red Sox player or coach has been throw out of four of the team’s last 11 games.
— Travis Shaw carried the load offensively for Boston, going 3-for-4 with a three-run homer in the loss. The three-hit performance improved the third baseman’s batting average to .329, his best mark since April 27.
?He?s using the whole field,” Farrell told reporters. “He gets a base hit the other way, a base hit up the middle, turns on a fastball for a three-run homer. He?s got such good plate coverage. He and Jackie (Bradley Jr.) are doing a fantastic job.”
Bradley also smacked an RBI double and walked twice to extend his major league-best hitting streak to 22 games.
— The Sox have homered in 17 consecutive games, two shy of the longest such streak in franchise history.
— The Red Sox still have two more games to play Wednesday in their lone trip to Kansas City this season, but the Royals chose to honor David Ortiz before Tuesday’s tilt, presenting the retiring Red Sox slugger with a chair, a portrait and a few bottles of barbecue sauce.
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Ortiz went 0-for-4 in the game.
— The Red Sow will add right-handed reliever Noe Ramirez to their roster for Wednesday’s doubleheader, Farrell told reporters. The manager also announced before the game that “everything is pointing to” right-hander Joe Kelly starting Saturday for Boston after a third promising rehab start at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Kelly has not pitched in the majors since suffering a right shoulder impingement April 20.
— After going hitless Monday in his Double-A debut, Red Sox outfield prospect Andrew Benintendi went 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, two RBIs and one run scored Tuesday night as the Portland Sea Dogs took down the New Hampshire Fisher Cats 5-3.
Benintendi, the seventh overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, is rated as the third-best prospect in the Red Sox’s organization, and he could very well play his way onto the big club by the end of the season if he continues to hit the way he has at every level of the minors thus far.
Thumbnail photo via Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports Images