Red Sox Wrap: Steven Wright’s Rough First Inning Dooms Boston In 6-3 Loss To Royals

by NESN Staff

August 26, 2016

BOSTON — The Red Sox didn’t get off to great start Friday, to say the least, and they couldn’t finish things out, either.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright gave up five runs on two home runs to put the Red Sox in a five-run hole in the first inning. But even after he pulled himself together from there on out, Boston’s offense had a tough time plating runs despite racking up 15 hits.

Here’s how it all went down.


After a rough first inning, Wright settled down, and the Red Sox had opportunities to score. Instead, they failed to plate any runs with the bases loaded (again) in the third, went 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men on base.

The Red Sox couldn’t pull off a comeback in the ninth inning.

Trying to overcome a four-run deficit against one of the best bullpens in baseball isn’t exactly ideal, but Boston put up a fight. However, its four-hit effort yielded only one run.

— Wright obviously didn’t start out so hot, but he deserves at least some credit for picking himself back up after a disastrous first inning. The knuckleballer gave up a leadoff walk to Jarrod Dyson, which is never a good sign, and another walk gave Eric Hosmer an opportunity to hit a three-run homer to the top of the Green Monster. A single led to a two-run shot by Alex Gordon, and Wright suddenly found himself in a 5-0 hole before the Red Sox even picked up a bat.

But after throwing 40 pitches in the first, Wright threw just 55 between the second and sixth innings, finishing up with five runs on seven hits with three walks and a strikeout over six innings.

— Junichi Tazawa, who’s struggled of late, pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning. However, he came out in the eighth and immediately gave up a solo home run to Royals right fielder Lorenzo Cain, ending his night.

— Fernando Abad got into a little trouble coming on for Tazawa, but he got out of it without doing any damage. A one-out single to Kendrys Morales and a two-out walk to Alcides Escobar put runners on second and third after a wild pitch, but Abad struck out catcher Drew Butera to end the threat. The lefty had two strikeouts in the frame.

Abad returned in the ninth and pitched a 1-2-3 inning with one strikeout.

— Dustin Pedroia continued to produce out of the leadoff spot, reaching base in all of his at-bats. The second baseman went 4-for-4 with a walk, a run and an RBI single in the sixth inning.

— Mookie Betts also had a spectacular night at the plate, going 5-for-5 with an RBI single in the first and the ninth innings.

— Xander Bogaerts has been slumping, batting .193 in August heading into this game, but that wasn’t the case Friday. The shortstop went 3-for-5 with a run,

— David Ortiz (1-for-5) and Brock Holt (1-for-3) both picked up a hit. Ortiz hit a ground-rule double in the third inning, and Holt scored a run on Pedroia’s RBI single in the sixth.

Aaron Hill pinch-hit for Holt in the eighth inning and grounded out to third base.

— Hanley Ramirez went 1-for-4 with a walk.

— Sandy Leon (0-for-5), Jackie Bradley Jr. (0-for-4) and Travis Shaw (0-for-3) combined to go 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts out of the Nos. 6, 7 and 8 spots.

Chris Young pinch-hit for Shaw in the eighth and … struck out.

Did U.S. Olympic gymanast Aly Raisman, who threw out the first pitch Friday, and David Ortiz just become best friends?

The Red Sox and Royals go head-to-head for the middle game of their series at Fenway Park in another 7:10 p.m. ET contest. David Price will take the mound for Boston against fellow lefty — and American League Cy Young Award candidate — Danny Duffy.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Aug 26, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Steven Wright (35) throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
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