The Boston Red Sox have been good at recording timely hits with runners in scoring position this season.
They entered Sunday’s game batting .333 with runners on first and second with two outs and were an identical .333 with runners on first and third with two outs. They’ve batted .310 with bases loaded and two outs, and while that number dipped to .240 with runners on first and second with two outs, it’s still more than profitable.
They weren’t so good in that regard during Sunday’s 7-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Field, however. Boston left 10 runners on base in the loss and was 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
“Yeah, I mean, I think, offensively, we just didn’t get the big hit, right?,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said during a postgame video conference. “We started off well. But after that it was a grind. We just couldn’t get that big hit and that’s gonna happen, you know?”
Xander Bogaerts grounded out to end the third inning with J.D. Martinez on third base; pinch-hitter Christian Vázquez grounded out to end the fourth with Kiké Hernández and Bobby Dalbec on third and first, respectively; Rafael Devers struck out with runners at the corners and two outs in the fifth; and Bogaerts struck out in the seventh with two outs and runners on first and second.
Marwin Gonzalez grounded into a double play with bases loaded and one out in the eighth, too.
“That guy (starter Mike Minor) is a good pitcher and their bullpen, they got stuff,” Cora said. “They’ll make you chase pitches out of the zone and it seems like Game 1 and today we did that.”
Hernández came away with Boston’s biggest two-out hit in the second inning. He connected on a 85 mph slider from Minor and sent it 424 feet to center to give the Red Sox an early lead. They were the only runs Minor (nine hits in 6 2/3 innings) would allow.
Hernández, though, isn’t overly concerned with Boston’s lack of timely production either.
“Yeah, it was a little frustrating, but at the same time it’s one game and things happen,” Hernández said on after going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. “Little bit of tough conditions out there, but it is what it is. We lost, now we got a day off to regroup and be ready for Tampa.”
The Red Sox will look to get back to their timely ways Tuesday when they travel to the Tampa Bay Rays.