BOSTON — After leading 3-1 and 4-3, the Red Sox blew both leads and in the end fell to the Kansas City Royals, 5-4, in 10 innings in the second game of Sunday’s day/night doubleheader at Fenway Park. The Royals took both games, dropping the Red Sox to 12-6 on the year.
Andrew Miller came on for the tenth, but once again didn’t have the best command of his pitches. He walked two batters, including the game-winning run on four pitches against Lorenzo Cain. He has walked six batters in just four total innings of work this season.
Although he did not factor into the decision, Allen Webster who was making his major league debut, was very impressive. The 23-year-old went six innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits while striking out five. Even more impressive was the command the Sox prospect showed on the mound, making it seem like he belongs in the major leagues. The one negative was the two home runs he allowed, both coming in the fifth inning. The right-hander threw 84 pitches, 57 for strikes.
“I thought he had great poise, great presence, like he showed in spring training,” manager John Farrell said. “With the exception of a couple of fastballs that were maybe elevated a little bit in the strike zone, I thought he did everything we could have hoped in a spot start … He was efficient. The six innings was pretty much what we were looking for tonight, so he did his job.”
Junichi Tazawa pitched the seventh, before Koji Uehara came on for the eighth and allowed the game-tying home run to Billy Butler. It snapped an 18 inning scoreless streak for the Sox reliever. Andrew Bailey (two strikeouts) threw a scoreless ninth, bouncing back from allowing a run in yesterday’s win.
Mike Napoli paced the offense going 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and two RBIs. Dustin Pedroia added two hits and an RBI in the loss.
The Red Sox will be back in action Monday (6:35, NESN) as they host the Oakland Athletics for a three-game set. Felix Doubront will get the nod for the Sox, while the A’s will counter with A.J. Griffin.
What they’ll be saying: This was a game the Red Sox should have won with leads of 3-1 and 4-3, especially having the bullpen set up just the way they wanted with Tazawa, Uehara and Bailey. The other issue was the lack of clutch hitting as they went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position. They had a tremedous chance to walk-off with the win in the bottom of the ninth with runners on first and second for Napoli, but his deep fly to center was hauled in on the warning track … You could not have asked for a better start from Webster, who appears to be on his way to being a big league pitcher one day. He will be sent back down to Pawtucket, but if anymore injuries do occur, it would seem likely he would be the first player to get a call back up. He became the first Red Sox starter making his major league debut to allow two runs or less in six or more innings since Justin Masterson in April of 2008. His velocity was between 94-96 MPH all game long, and also featured a nice slider and change up to keep hitters on their toes.