The Red Sox really need to start stringing together some wins, and a three-game set against the lowly Kansas City Royals is exactly what the doctor ordered.
And Boston cashed in on its first opportunity, beating the Royals 8-3 at Kauffman Field on Tuesday in the series opener.
Trailing 2-0 in the sixth inning, the Red Sox scored three runs in the frame to take the lead, which they wouldn’t give up the rest of the way.
The Red Sox climb to 31-29 with the win, while the Royals fall to 19-41 with the loss.
Here’s how it went down:
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox looked uninspired for a little while, but changed course in the sixth and never looked back.
ON THE BUMP
— It never truly was smooth sailing for Eduardo Rodriguez, but he did enough to put the Red Sox in a position to win. The left-hander allowed two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and no walks over 5 2/3 innings.
Following a 1-2-3 first inning, Rodriguez gave up his only runs of the game in the second. Alex Gordon smacked a one-out double, and with one out, Cheslor Cuthbert clubbed an 0-1 fastball into the left field seats, putting the Royals up 2-0.
Rodriguez buckled down the following four innings, and though he allowed singles in each of those stanzas, he didn’t allow any runs.
In the sixth, Rodriguez allowed a one-out single to Adalberto Mondesi, who proceeded to steal second. Upon getting the second out of the inning, Rodriguez was pulled from the game.
— Heath Hembree took over with two down and a runner on second in the sixth, and he got Jorge Soler to fly out to end the inning.
— Marcus Walden walked one in a hitless, scoreless seventh.
— Brandon Workman pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, striking out one.
— Ryan Brasier handled the ninth and allowed a run.
Gordon hit a leadoff double, then moved to third on a sac fly to right. Cuthbert grounded out to short to plate Gordon, which trimmed KC’s deficit to 8-3, but Brasier struck out the next hitter to end the game.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— It took a while for the Red Sox offense to get going, but they caught a little fire in the sixth.
Trailing 2-0 entering the frame, Mookie Betts kicked the inning off with a double. J.D. Martinez hit a one-out triple that clipped the top of the fence, resulting in the umpires reviewing the play to see if it was a homer. Though it was confirmed to be a triple, Betts still had come in to score, cutting the deficit in half.
Rafael Devers walked to put runners on the corners, then Xander Bogaerts hit a sacrifice fly to plate Martinez and tie the game.
Brock Holt followed that up with a double down the right field line to both extend his hitting streak to six and also bring Devers home from first, giving Boston a 3-2 lead.
— The Red Sox added some insurance in the eighth inning.
With runners on the corners and one out, pinch-hitter Eduardo Nunez was served a 1-2 breaking ball that he blasted into the seats in left, upping Boston’s lead to 6-2.
— The Red Sox kept piling on in the ninth.
Andrew Benintendi worked a two-out walk and Martinez followed that with a single. Devers brought both runners home with a double, furthering Boston’s lead to 8-2.
— Martinez led the Red Sox with three hits, while Holt had two.
— Betts, Benintendi, Devers, Bogaerts and Nunez all had one hit.
— Michael Chavis, Christian Vazquez and Jackie Bradley Jr. all went hitless.
TWEET OF THE DAY
The Red Sox and Royals will play the middle contest of the three-game set Wednesday evening. Chris Sale will get the ball for Boston and will be countered by Jakob Junis. First pitch from Kauffman Stadium is set for 8:15 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports Images