BOSTON -- The Red Sox snapped their seven-game win streak Sunday afternoon, losing to the Royals, 4-2, in the first game of their doubleheader at Fenway Park.
Ryan Dempster, who took the loss, also snapped the Sox’ starting pitchers’ streak of allowing just three or fewer runs in the first 16 games of the season. Dempster went seven innings, giving up four runs on six hits, including a home run, and three walks with eight strikeouts. He fell to 0-2, while his ERA rose from 2.65 to 3.38
Ervin Santana (2-1) earned the win, going seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.
Kansas City scored first on Alcides Escobar’s first-inning, one-out solo home run over the Monster in left.
The Sox went ahead in the bottom of the first when Daniel Nava, Dustin Pedroia, and David Ortiz hit consecutive one-out singles, scoring one run. Mike Napoli’s ground out drove in another run, putting the Sox up 2-1.
But the Royals came back with three runs in the fourth. Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer opened the inning with back-to-back singles, with Butler scoring on Lorenzo Cain’s double. After Dempster struck out Mike Moustakas and Jeff Francoeur, Salvador’s Perez single to center scored Hosmer and Cain, giving the Royals a 4-2 lead.
The Sox threatened in the eighth, but left the bases loaded.
AT A GLANCE
STAR OF THE GAME: Ervin Santana
Santana went seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.
HONORABLE MENTION: David Ortiz
In his second game back off the disabled list, Ortiz went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He is now 5-for-8 with a double and two RBI overall.
GOAT OF THE GAME: Jarrod Saltalamacchia
With the bases loaded in the eighth inning, and Royals reliever Aaron Crow struggling (one strike in seven pitches) Saltalamacchia hit a slow roller back to the mound ending the inning. He left five runners on base in the game.
THE TURNING POINT
With left-hander Bruce Chen in to relieve Santana in the eighth, Daniel Nava hit a one-out single and with two outs David Ortiz singled, ending Chen’s outing. Aaron Crow entered and walked Mike Napoli on four pitches to load the bases. But the Sox couldn’t score as Saltalamacchia grounded out to end the threat.
BY THE NUMBERS: 6
The bottom three of the Sox order -- Will Middlebrooks, Stephen Drew, and Saltalamacchia – combined to go 1-for-12 with six strikeouts.
QUOTE OF NOTE:
“I’m battling right now. Trying to do too much. Haven’t faced good pitching for months. I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t feel good at the plate right now.” -- David Ortiz, who went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI and is now 5-for-8 with a double and two RBI in two games since coming off the disabled list