Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Royals Beat Red Sox in 14 Innings While Most of New England Sleeps
I can't lie and say I was riveted by every pitch of last night's 14 inning contest between the Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park.
For one thing, the game had a rain delay that lasted 2:21 meaning that the first pitch didn't happen until 9:30 p.m. Also, unlike the instant classic 16 inning game against the Rays on Sunday Night Baseball a few weeks ago, this one had little appeal outside of seeing how Jon Lester would do in his first start back from the DL.
So yes, I was one of the poor schmoes that was still tuned in when the Royals (43-59) wrapped up a 3-1 win over the Red Sox (62-38) right before 2 a.m. but it won't be some life-changing event I'll tell anybody about. Nope, it was just something to do before I went to bed late as usual.
All things considered, Lester was fine in his return. He went 5.1 innings, allowing one earned run on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Red Sox manager Terry Francona wanted to limit him to 80 pitches but Lester's night was over after 89, no big deal.
Kyle Davies had a great performance (by his poor standards), going 6.1 innings, allowing one earned run on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts.
J.D. Drew was supposed to go on the DL last night (with Lester getting activated) with some fake shoulder injury but for some reason that was delayed for a day while rookie Kyle Weiland went back to Pawtucket. I mention this only because Josh Reddick (3 hits, 2 doubles, 1 awesome diving catch) continues to do everything in his power to lock the job down for 2011.
Reddick gave Boston a 1-0 lead with an RBI double in the second which scored Carl Crawford (0 for 6 with 4 strikeouts).
Billy Butler tied it up at one for Kansas City with his RBI double in the sixth which scored ex-Yankee Melky Cabrera (4 hits).
Despite 13 hits, the Red Sox looked like the team in the early part of 2011 that couldn't come through with the clutch hit (11 left on base). Marco Scutaro was the goat as he came up with Reddick at third with one out in the 12th but a bungled sign led to him not bunting and Reddick getting caught in a rundown. If that wasn't enough, Scutaro promptly singled but tried to stretch it into a double and got thrown out at second by a few feet. Yeesh, rough inning.
Matt Albers (1.2 innings), Daniel Bard (1 inning), Jonathan Papelbon (1 inning), Franklin Morales (1.2 innings) and Dan Wheeler (1.1 innings) all had scoreless outings but once Randy Williams-the last man in the bullpen and on the roster-was summoned, you know it was probably over.
Williams went two innings but Mike Aviles plated Eric Hosmer (3 hits) with a sacrifice in the 14th and Alex Escobar knocked in Jeff Francoeur with a sacrifice fly. Somehow the Royals still had closer Joakim Soria available and he came on to strikeout the side for his 18th save of the season.
Worcester native Tim Collins threw a 1-2-3 seventh on 10 pitches for the Royals. Great improbable story (look it up) about a local guy that has made it.
Rookie Danny Duffy faces Andrew Miller tonight as the Red Sox look to bounce back from an unexpected loss to one of MLB's worst teams. Making matters worse, the Yankees beat the A's last night meaning they're now two games back in the AL East.