KANSAS CITY -- Drake Britton has impressed in the brief time he has been with the major league team. The left-hander, who began the season in Double A before promotions to Triple-A and then to Boston, entered Friday’s game against the Royals with a 0.79 ERA in eight appearances, giving up just one run over 11 1/3 innings. He earned his first career win on July 31, in the Red Sox 15-inning win over the Orioles, throwing two scoreless innings.
But on Friday against the Royals, he experienced a new career-first – his first loss.
Britton entered the game with no outs, a run in and two runners on base in the sixth inning, with lefties in three of the next four slots. He walked the first batter he faced, No. 8 hitter George Kottaras, before retiring pinch-hitter Miguel Tejada on a pop foul. But David Lough’s sacrifice fly scored another run, before Eric left-handed hitting Eric Hosmer poked a two-run single the opposite way through the shortstop hole on a 2-and-2 slider for two runs, ending Britton’s outing.
Manager John Farrell liked Britton’s chances going into the outing.
“Yeah, bottom third of the order with the lefties coming, lefties at the top of the order, “ Farrell said. “Hosmer throws the bat out in front of the two-strike pitch for the groundball base hit for the two-run RBI single. And after that, that was enough once they got ahead with the one run.”
“I fell behind some of the guys,” Britton said. “Did my best to try and pick the team up but just didn't make the pitches when I needed to.”
“I felt good about [the pitch to Hosmer]. It was the right location, darting way off the plate. He stuck his bat out there and hit it, hit it in the right spot. We were playing the shift and it didn’t go our way but that’s baseball.”
“I got the popup [from Tejada], got the lineout [by Lough], almost got him at home. And then I got Hosmer 2-2, threw the slider right where I wanted to. It’s just unfortunate that he stuck his bat out there and got a hold of it.
“I felt good about the situation. I was starting to settle down a little more. But that’s baseball. It’s going to happen. We’re going to bounce back tomorrow
But Britton, who turned 24 in May, is pleased with his accomplishments in the major leagues so far, believing he has proved himself.
“I do,” he said. “I feel comfortable out there. It’s a tough loss tonight. I put it on me. I could have done a lot of things different. I still feel good. I still feel like I made pitches, just not when I needed to.”
* The Sox fell to 46-10 when scoring first.
* The six runs scored by the Royals were one shy of the most the Sox have allowed in an inning this season, behind only the seven runs they allowed to the Twins on May 8 in the second inning.
* The six hits they gave up in the sixth are tied for most in an inning this season, for the third time.
* Daniel Nava was hit by a pitch for an American League-high 13th time. He has reached base safely in 25 consecutive starts since June 22.
* Jacoby Ellsbury stole his major league-leading 41st base, in 45 attempts for a 91 percent success rate.
* David Ortiz hit his 22nd home run of the season. Seventeen of his home runs have come against right-handers.
* Stephen Drew went 1-for-5 extending his hitting streak to 10 games, in which he is batting .432.
* This was the 35th comeback win for the Royals.
* The Royals batted around in the sixth, the 13th time they have done so this season.
* Right-hander Pedro Beato was called into Farrell's office after the game. He is likely headed back to Pawtucket, wth left-hander Franklin Morales being activated from the disabled list.