The Kansas City Royals must be very happy they don’t have to face Boston Red Sox star Andrew Benintendi for the rest of the season.
The 24-year-old left fielder went 4-for-5 and scored two runs to help power the Red Sox to a 7-4 win Sunday at Kauffman Stadium. His fourth hit of the finale put him on base for the 10th straight plate appearance in the series. The only other player in Major League Baseball to reach base 10 straight times this season is Houston Astros star Jose Altuve.
Benintendi absolutely crushed Royals pitching in the three-game series. He went 8-for-11 with seven runs scored, one home run and three walks. Benintendi now has 12 hits, nine runs, four RBI and six walks in his last 10 games.
He’s batting .293 with 14 home runs, 55 RBI and a .380 on-base percentage a little more than halfway through (86 games) his second full season in the major leagues. Perhaps the most impressive part of his 2018 campaign has been his consistency. Benintendi has gone hitless in three or more games on just three separate occasions this season, and his longest such streak is four games. He’s been a very reliable part of baseball’s best offense.
Here are some other notes from Red Sox vs. Royals:
— Rick Porcello didn’t have his best stuff Sunday, but it was good enough. He allowed nine hits, three earned runs, one walk and struck out nine over seven innings. Those nine strikeouts tied a season-high for Porcello, who’s reached that mark in four outings. Porcello has a team-leading 11-3 record and hasn’t taken a loss since June 10.
Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel came in for the final two outs of the ninth inning for his 27th save of the year.
— Steve Pearce has proven to be a very good acquisition for Boston. The veteran has batted .450 (9-for-20) with four runs scored in seven games as a member of the Red Sox.
— The Red Sox offense was on fire in Kansas City. Boston scored a total of 32 (!) runs in the three-game series, including a season-high 15 runs in Saturday’s win. Sandy Leon was the only starter who didn’t tally a single hit Sunday. Benintendi, Pearce, Xander Bogaerts and Eduardo Nunez all had a multi-hit game.
— Red Sox improved to 23-6 in series finales and 18-4 on getaway days. It’s safe to say day baseball has been kind to the Sox this season.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. stole his 10th base of the season in the eighth inning. He’s 10-for-10 on stolen base attempts in 2018.
— Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield went 5-for-5 on Sunday for the first 5-hit game of his career. He tallied nine hits in the three-game series.
— The Royals have lost nine straight games and 28 of their last 33. They sit in last place in the American League Central.
— J.D. Martinez was a bit banged up after fouling three pitches off himself Saturday night. He was available to pinch hit Sunday if needed but did not enter the game. Pearce started the game as the designated hitter and batted third in place of Martinez. The Sox slugger should be good to go Monday when Boston hosts the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park.
— The Red Sox announced some injury updates Sunday morning. Catcher Christian Vazquez was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right fifth finger fracture. Brian Johnson was placed on the 10-day DL with left hip inflammation, retroactive to July 5. Right-handed pitchers William Cuevas and Ryan Brasier have joined the Red Sox from Triple-A Pawtucket.
Thumbnail photo via Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports