Jul 18, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (35) hits an RBI single during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Sputter Out of the Gate; Lose 5-4

Starting the second half off on the wrong foot is not what you want to do. The Royals wheezed their way into the All-Star break Sunday and were hoping to get the second half of the season started off with a bang. It ended up being more of a fizzle as they lost to the Red Sox 5-4 and wasted several opportunities to score.

The Royals drew blood in the top half of the first via an Omar Infante double followed by an Eric Hosmer single to drive him in. However, the Red Sox got it back in the bottom of the second after Alcides Escobar committed a throwing error that allowed Xander Bogaerts to reach first. Singles by Stephen Drew and Brock Holt moved the runner and scored him.

The Royals scored two more in the fourth. Infante got on base again with a single before Hosmer moved him to third on a controversial ground-rule double that a Red Sox ball-girl interfered with. It didn’t end up mattering as Perez followed up with a single to score both Infante and Hosmer.

This was unfortunately not enough to ensure a Royals victory as the Red Sox came from behind with two 2-run homers in the sixth by Bogaerts and Jonny Gomes. The Royals had a few other opportunities to score but were unable to capitalize.

James Shields went 5 and 2/3 giving up 8 hits and 3 earned runs. He gave up the first home run in the sixth and left the game with a duck on the pond that was promptly sent on home when Scott Downs served one up to the first batter he faced in Jonny Gomes. All in all, the bullpen (Downs, Herrera, and Crow) pitched 2 and 1/3 innings tonight giving up the aforementioned earned run, striking out two, and walking two.

Clay Buchholz went 6 innings for the Red Sox and gave up 10 hits and 4 earned runs. The Sox got 3 innings of scoreless relief from the combined efforts of Badenhop, Miller, Tazewa, and Uehara.

One silver lining to take from tonight is that Hosmer was 3-5 with a double although he grounded out with Omar Infante on second base to end the game. That’ll take a bit of the wind out of the sails of your stat line most nights.

Hopefully the team can grab a win tomorrow.

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