The Boston Red Sox did not receive a warm welcome in their return to Fenway Park on Friday night.
Thanks to a three-run home run off the bat of Mike Moustakas, the Kansas City Royals picked up a 4-2 victory over the Red Sox in Game 1 of the three-game series.
Moustakas’ blast was the glaring mistake in Rick Porcello’s outing. The right-hander pitcher rather well otherwise, allowing four runs on six hits over seven innings.
Jason Vargas, as he’s been all season, was strong for the Royals. The veteran left-hander tossed six innings and only allowed one run on five hits.
With the win, Kansas City improves to 54-47, while Boston falls to 56-48.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
Porcello has gotten used to narrow defeats this season. The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner continues to pitch deep into ball games, but a lack of run support has troubled him.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
The window was left open for Boston to mount a comeback, but Royals closer Kelvin Herrera locked down the victory with his 22nd save of the season.
ON THE BUMP
— Porcello made quick work of the Royals in the first inning, but Salvador Perez put the visiting club on the scoreboard with a solo blast over the Green Monster in the second. And after a 1-2-3 third inning, Porcello ran into more trouble in the fourth.
Jorge Bonifacio led off the frame with a single, and Eric Hosmer followed with a base knock of his own two batters later. Porcello nearly escaped the inning unscathed, but Moustakas wrapped a three-run home run around the right-field foul pole to boost the Royals’ lead to 4-0.
Porcello settled down, though, as he only allowed one hit over the next three innings. But after completing the seventh, Red Sox manager John Farrell decided his starter’s night was over.
— Brandon Workman entered in the eighth and tossed a scoreless inning. The right-hander stayed on for the ninth before being pulled with two outs.
— Robby Scott recorded the final out of the ninth.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Mookie Betts went 1-for-4, including an RBI single in the fifth inning.
— Eduardo Nunez impressed in his Red Sox debut, going 2-for-3 with two singles and a walk.
— Rafael Devers continues to swing a strong bat, as he ripped a double as part of his 1-for-4 effort.
— Chris Young (1-for-3) joined Devers as the only Red Sox hitter to record an extra-base hit. The veteran outfielder launched a triple in the seventh inning.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. went 1-for-4 with a single.
— Sandy Leon didn’t log a hit, but he picked up an RBI when his groundout plated Young in the seventh.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Fenway Park wasn’t short of smiles Friday night.
The Red Sox and Royals will play Game 2 of their three-game series Saturday night. Eduardo Rodriguez is scheduled to get the ball for Boston and will be countered by Kansas City’s Trevor Cahill. First pitch from Fenway Park is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images