The Kansas City Royals scored four runs in the fourth and sixth innings Saturday night. And yet… two big innings were lessened by a host of smaller Boston frames.
Nine innings wasn’t enough for the Kansas City Royals Saturday night in Boston.
No, we needed 10 innings to find an ending for a sloppy, disjointed and ultimately disappointing loss to the Boston Red Sox, 9-8, Saturday night at Fenway Park.
All things must end, and so the Kansas City Royals winning streak was stopped at nine.
It was fitting that Christian Vazquez drew first blood for the Red Sox—he finished a home run shy of the cycle, yet his second-inning triple which scored Jackie Bradley Jr. pushed across Boston’s first run of the night.
An inning later, new Boston acquisition Eduardo Nunez homered to extend the BoSox lead, but in the top of the fourth the Kansas City Royals broke out with the first of two four-run innings. Whit Merrifield, he of the 4-for-5 outing, singled in Brandon Moss for the Royals first run before scoring himself on Lorenzo Cain’s three-run blast, which made it 4-2 Good Guys.
Unfortunately for the Kansas City Royals, the Boston Red Sox didn’t climb to the top of the AL East by rolling over when times got hard and they rallied back with not only two runs in the home half of the fourth but two more in the fifth. Vazquez doubled (scoring Mitch Moreland) and later scored on a Rafael Devers single, while Nunez homered yet again in the fifth and Xander Bogaerts scored on a Mike Moustakas error to put the Red Sox back ahead by two runs.
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Four more crossed for the Kansas City Royals in the sixth, started off once again by Mr. Big Hit himself. Merrifield singled on a grounder which Devers attempted to barehand at third, scoring both Alcides Escobar and a hustling Alex Gordon. Eric Hosmer drove him in a botched fielder’s choice broken up by a supremely aggressive slide by Cain at second base.
And yet, Boston persisted.
In the seventh, Bradley’s sac fly scored Benitendi. An inning later, Joakim Soria blew his season’s seventh save by allowing a single to Vazquez, moving pinch-runner Brock Holt to second on a wild pitch and surrendering a single to Devers and a sac fly to Mookie Betts to tie it up.
In the ninth, the Royals attempted a good-faith go-ahead attempt after Salvador Perez led off with a single. Terrance Gore pinch-ran for Salvy and attempted a steal (because otherwise why even have Terrance Gore?) but was called out on the play and had the ruling upheld on review.
Relatively little happened until the bottom of the 10th, when Sandy Leon led off with a double. Mike Minor got a Devers strikeout and intentionally walked Betts. When a Minor wild pitch—his third—moved Leon to third and Betts to second, Nunez’s ground out brought Leon to the plate with the game-winning run.