Royals

Pitching falters in KC Royals’ 7-3 loss to Red Sox

Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar (2) tags out the Red Sox's Blake Swihart (23) trying to steal second in the fourth inning of Friday's baseball game at Kauffman Stadium.
Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar (2) tags out the Red Sox's Blake Swihart (23) trying to steal second in the fourth inning of Friday's baseball game at Kauffman Stadium. JSLEEZER@KCSTAR.COM

The Royals’ roll of effective substitute starting pitching ended with a thud Friday.

The Red Sox roughed up Yohan Pino and halted the Royals’ four-game winning streak with a 7-3 victory before a sellout crowd of 38,190 at Kauffman Stadium.

With injuries to three starting pitchers, the Royals have been forced to dip into reserves, and the results have largely been positive. Chris Young and Joe Blanton provided solid performances on consecutive nights earlier this week.

Pino — called up from Omaha a day earlier when the Royals placed Opening Day starter Yordano Ventura on the disabled list — was knocked around in a five-run second inning.

On the night, Pino surrendered six runs, 11 of the Red Sox’s 14 hits and a home run to center field by Hanley Ramirez.

Pino settled down after the second and was able to pitch into the sixth, allowing the Royals manager Ned Yost to keep his bullpen intact. Brandon Finnegan and Luke Hochevar finished up.

“It enabled us to get us through the rest of the game,” Yost said. “You don’t want to put yourself in jeopardy, when you fall behind early, of affecting the next two days.”

The Red Sox, 30-39, had arrived in Kansas City with the American League’s second worst record and losers of eight of 10, but they took command of the game by batting around in the second inning.

“I missed a couple of pitches up in the zone and then I had some ground balls that found holes,” Pino said. “There’s nothing you can do about that.”

The Royals, 38-26, remain atop the Central Division, but bats that had sizzled during a four-game sweep of the Brewers — 55 hits, 28 runs and a .379 batting average — were cooled considerably by Red Sox rookie Eduardo Rodriguez.

Making his fifth start, Rodriguez had been a sensation in three.

The Royals were hoping they’d see the Rodriguez that got walloped for nine runs in 4 2/3 innings by the Blue Jays in his latest outing. Instead, they got the 22-year-old who was setting records over his first three starts.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Rodriguez was the first pitcher in baseball history to pitch six innings while allowing no more than one run or three hits in each of his first three major league games. He started the season in Class AAA before making his major league debut on May 28.

“This kid tonight, he’s got really good stuff, I’m kind of excited to see him,” Royals manager Ned Yost said before the game.

Rodriguez was every bit as good as Yost had heard as he bedeviled the Royals most of the night. Eric Hosmer’s second-inning single and Kendrys Morales’ fourth-inning single were all the Royals could muster until the fifth.

With two outs, Omar Infante continued his hot week with a double into the left field gap, and Alcides Escobar traded places with him with a shot down the right field line for the Royals’ first run.

The Royals threatened in the seventh when Alex Gordon led off with a single and one batter later Alex Rios followed suit. Red Sox manager John Farrell then pulled Rodriguez, creating his final line of 6 1/3 innings, six hits and five strikeouts.

Alexi Ogando got the final two outs to end the small uprising.

The night’s best swing belonged to Hosmer, who powered a 424-foot home run to dead center for a solo shot with two outs in the eighth.

Hosmer, who got off to a fast start with seven home runs in his first 35 games, went his next 28 without one.

“You can’t really think about stuff like that or you’ll get yourself in a bigger hole,” Hosmer said. “I’ve been happy the past couple of days with the way I’ve been swinging the bat.”

The Royals put two more runners on after the blast, but Drew Butera, who had entered the game in the eighth for Salvador Perez, struck out to end the inning.

Doubles by Christian Colon and Mike Moustakas in the ninth provided the final Royals run.

Pablo Sandoval triggered the Red Sox’s five-run second with a one-out double and continued his torment of the Royals.

As the Giants’ third baseman last season, Sandoval went four for four over games six and seven of the World Series at Kauffman Stadium, including three hits and two runs in the seventh game. Not to mention clutching Perez’s pop up in foul territory for the series-ending out.

Friday, Sandoval extended his streak of hits to six with the second-inning double — he scored on Mike Napoli’s two-run single — and a third-inning single.

The Red Sox kept hitting and scoring, despite hitting into five double plays, and with Rodriguez in command, and it was a tough night all around for the Royals.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @BlairKerkhoff.

Red Sox 7, Royals 3

TableStyle: SP-basebattersCCI Template: SP-basebatters

Boston

AB

R

H

BI

W

K

Avg.

B.Holt 2b

4

1

0

0

1

1

.311

Betts cf

5

0

4

1

0

0

.267

Ortiz dh

5

0

1

0

0

0

.230

H.Ramirez lf

4

1

2

2

0

0

.269

R.Castillo rf

1

0

1

0

0

0

.236

Bogaerts ss

5

1

1

0

0

0

.285

Sandoval 3b

4

1

2

0

0

1

.274

Napoli 1b

3

1

2

2

1

0

.210

De Aza rf-lf

3

1

1

0

1

0

.228

Swihart c

4

1

2

2

0

0

.226

Totals

38

7

16

7

3

2

 

TableStyle: SP-basebattersCCI Template: SP-basebatters

Kansas City

AB

R

H

BI

W

K

Avg.

Escobar ss

3

0

1

1

1

1

.271

Colon ss

1

1

1

0

0

0

.271

Moustakas 3b

5

0

1

1

0

0

.321

Cain cf

5

0

0

0

0

0

.286

Hosmer 1b

4

1

2

1

0

1

.300

Morales dh

4

0

2

0

0

1

.286

Gordon lf

2

0

1

0

1

0

.274

Perez c

3

0

0

0

0

0

.281

Butera c

1

0

0

0

0

1

.162

Rios rf

4

0

1

0

0

1

.221

Infante 2b

4

1

1

0

0

1

.229

Totals

36

3

10

3

2

6

 

TableStyle: SP-basebyinningsCCI Template: SP-basebyinnings

Boston

050

010

100

7

16

0

Kansas City

000

010

011

3

10

1

E: C.Colon (4). LOB: Boston 7, Kansas City 9. 2B: Sandoval (11), Napoli (9), Swihart (6), A.Escobar (12), C.Colon (4), Moustakas (13), Infante (14). HR: H.Ramirez (14), off Pino; Hosmer (8), off Ross Jr.. RBIs: Betts (30), H.Ramirez 2 (35), Napoli 2 (29), Swihart 2 (10), A.Escobar (25), Moustakas (25), Hosmer (38). SB: B.Holt (4), Betts (11). CS: Swihart (1).

Runners left in scoring position: Boston 4 (Swihart, Sandoval, B.Holt, Bogaerts); Kansas City 7 (S.Perez, Moustakas, A.Escobar 2, Butera 2, L.Cain). RISP: Boston 5 for 13; Kansas City 2 for 8.

Runners moved up: B.Holt, Infante. GIDP: Ortiz 2, Bogaerts, Swihart 2, S.Perez. DP: Boston 1 (B.Holt, Bogaerts, Napoli); Kansas City 5 (Hosmer, A.Escobar, Hosmer), (Hosmer, A.Escobar), (A.Escobar, Infante, Hosmer), (C.Colon, Infante, Hosmer), (Hochevar, C.Colon, Hosmer).

TableStyle: SP-basepitchersCCI Template: SP-basepitchers

Boston

IP

H

R

ER

W

K

ERA

E.Rodriguez W, 3-1

6.1

6

1

1

1

5

3.13

Ogando

0.2

0

0

0

0

0

3.54

Ross Jr.

1

2

1

1

1

1

4.87

S.Wright

1

2

1

1

0

0

4.01

TableStyle: SP-basepitchersCCI Template: SP-basepitchers

Kansas City

IP

H

R

ER

W

K

ERA

Pino L, 0-2

5.1

11

6

6

1

0

3.26

Finnegan

2.2

3

1

1

2

2

2.03

Hochevar

1

2

0

0

0

0

6.55

Inherited runners-scored: Ogando 2-0, Finnegan 1-0. HBP: by E.Rodriguez (A.Gordon). WP: Ross Jr., S.Wright.

Umpires: Home, Tom Hallion; First, Bruce Dreckman; Second, Alfonso Marquez; Third, Dan Bellino. Time: 2:57. Att: 38,190.

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