KANSAS CITY The Red Sox have lost games in virtually every conceivable manner this season. Wednesday night, they discovered yet another.
Poor outfield defense led to three unearned runs in the first inning, and the Red Sox never recovered, dropping a 4-3 decision to the Kansas City Royals, a team that had won all of two games at home this season before the Red Sox arrived in town.
With two out and two on in the first, Johnny Giavotella lined a ball to center which Marlon Byrd misjudged. He misplayed the ball, allowing the two baserunners to score. Giovatella later came around to score, too, on a double by catcher Brayan Pena which Cody Ross ran down on the warning track, then juggled and dropped.
A bases-clearing double by Adrian Gonzalez in the third inning accounted for all three of the Red Sox runs.
A single by Cody Ross and a walk by Jarrod Saltalamacchia to open the ninth gave the Sox hope, and a sacrifice bunt by Marlon Byrd put both runners in scoring position.
But closer Jonathan Broxton got Ryan Sweeney to line out to left, then got Mike Aviles on a groundout to short for the final out.
Jon Lester allowed just one earned run, but once more, a high pitch count limited his night to just five innings. He needed 108 pitches to record just 15 outs.
Clayton Mortensten contributed three scoreless innings of relief, but Boston's hitters were also shut out through those frames.