The Boston Red Sox’s bullpen hadn’t blown a save in their last 21 games coming into Wednesday’s contest against the Kansas City Royals, but all streaks must come to an end.
The Red Sox held a two-run lead in the eighth inning at Kauffman Stadium, but Matt Barnes and Robby Scott were unable to get the ball to closer Craig Kimbrel.
Barnes walked the first two batters he faced to start the eighth, and Scott followed by walking Eric Hosmer to load the bases with no outs. That’s when Salvador Perez made them pay.
The All-Star catcher blasted a 3-2 fastball over the left field fence for a grand slam to give the Royals a 6-4 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
The Red Sox fell to 40-32 with the loss, while the Royals improved to 35-36 with the win.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox held a two-run lead despite tallying just four hits through the first eight innings. The bullpen, however, was unable to hold the lead, surrendering four runs on one swing in the bottom of the eighth.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Perez launched a high fastball over the left field fence for a go-ahead grand slam.
Boston had led by two, but Barnes and Scott walked the bases loaded and Perez put the final nail in the Red Sox’s coffin.
ON THE BUMP
— Drew Pomeranz kept his pitch count down and was able to work into the seventh inning for just the fourth time this season. The left-hander gave up two runs on six hits while striking out five and walking one in 6 1/3 innings.
The Royals got to Pomeranz in the second inning when Hosmer scored on a double play off the bat of Mike Moustakas.
Kansas City tacked on another run in the third when Whit Merrifield drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Pomeranz cruised through the middle innings before the Royals knocked him out of the game in the seventh inning with singles by Perez and Cheslor Cuthbert.
— Joe Kelly relieved Pomeranz with runners on first and second and one out in the seventh inning. After getting Alcides Escobar to fly out, Kelly walked Ramon Torres to load the bases. But the hard-throwing right-hander got Merrifield to line out to Mookie Betts in right field to end the threat.
— Barnes walked the only two batters he faced in the eighth inning.
— Scott walked Hosmer to load the bases and then gave up a grand slam to Perez to give the Royals a two-run edge.
— Heath Hembree recorded all three outs in the eighth inning.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox tied the game in the fourth inning when Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts hit back-to-back solo home runs.
— Boston took the lead in the fifth when Christian Vazquez led off the inning with a single to left. Deven Marrero dropped down a sacrifice bunt, but pitcher Ian Kennedy threw the ball away allowing Marrero to reach first and Vazquez to take third.
Betts followed with a sacrifice fly to score Vazquez and give Boston a one-run lead. And the Sox took advantage of another Kansas City miscue three batters later when reliever Mike Minor attempted to pick off Bogaerts at first, but his throw got away from Hosmer, allowing Marrero to scamper home to stretch Boston’s lead to two.
— Mitch Moreland, Chris Young, Josh Rutledge and Marrero all went hitless in the contest.
TWEET OF THE DAY
It was a rough eighth inning.
The Red Sox return home Friday to take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Rick Porcello will get the ball for Boston and will be opposed by Alex Meyer. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports Images
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