Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Red Sox Can't Protect 2-Run Lead In 8th, Fall To Hapless Royals
Right after millions of viewers had no doubt turned over from the Celtics' 1-point loss to the Hawks, Matt Albers served up a three-run homer to left field by Billy Butler (6th of the season) in the eighth inning only minutes later. Suddenly, Boston's (12-17, 8-7 away) 4-2 lead was erased and it was no surprise when they went down in order in the ninth as Kansas City (10-19, 3-13 home) emerged victorious 6-4 at Kauffman Stadium.
Boston has lost six of its last seven games, including two in extra innings.
Butler's swing was easily the most important play of the game. Red Sox starter Daniel Bard (2-4) went seven innings but he was charged with five earned runs on six hits with a strikeout and four walks.
Albers' gaffe meant that Royals starter Danny Duffy was off the hook. Duffy was terrible, lasting only 4.1 innings and allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits with a strikeout and five walks.
Boston scored twice in the second inning but it should have been a scary omen that Will Middlebrooks left in that frame with tightness in his left hamstring (the same thing that caused him to be scratched from Saturday's lineup). He had doubled, joining Hall of Famer Enos Slaughter as the only players since 1920 to have extra base hits in their first five MLB games. Kelly Shoppach had scored him with an RBI single while Dustin Pedroia (2 runs) walked with the bases loaded.
Bard had trouble with his command in the second as he was called for two balks. Eric Hosmer scored on one of them then Chris Getz and Humberto Quintero added RBI singles.
Pedroia tied it with an RBI single in the fourth and Adrian Gonzalez (2 for 3 with a double on his 30th birthday) temporarily put the Red Sox ahead 4-3 in the fifth on a throwing error by Getz.
Kelvin Herrera (who throws 100 mph) got five clean outs including two strikeouts, Jose Mijares (2-1) pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth with three strikeouts and Broxton (the former Dodgers closer) picked up his sixth save of the season on eight pitches.
Jon Lester (1-2) faces the legend Bruce Chen (0-4) in tomorrow night's series finale (8:10 p.m., NESN). I'm not going to make any bold statements about what it means if the Red Sox lose because it will probably happen anyway. What a worthless squad.