BOSTON – The Red Sox capped an emotional day with a dramatic win against the Royals Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park. After a moving pregame ceremony commemorating the events of the past week, Daniel Nava’s three-run home run in the eighth inning gave the Sox a 4-3 win, extending their winning streak to seven games.
Clay Buchholz earned the win, improving to 4-0. He went eight innings, giving up two runs on eight hits with no walks and six strikeouts. He entered the game with a major league-leading 0.41 ERA. Despite allowing just two runs in eight innings, that mark went up to 0.90.
James Shields nearly matched Buchholz, going six innings, giving up one run on four hits and three walks with eight strikeouts.
The Royals got on the board first as Lorenzo Cain led off the fifth with a double off Boston right-hander Clay Buchholz. Jeff Francouer’s one-out single to left put the Royals up, 1-0.
But the Red Sox tied the game in the sixth when Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a single off James Shields, took second on Shane Victorino’s sacrifice bunt and third on Dustin Pedroia’s groundout. David Ortiz’s single to center scored Ellsbury.
But Tim Collins and Kelvin Herrera combined to give up three runs in the eighth. Jonny Gomes led off with a pinch-hit double, followed by a walk to Dustin Pedroia. After David Ortiz grounded into a double play, Nava unloaded for his fourth home run of the season.
Andrew Bailey earned the save, despite giving up a lead-off home run in the ninth to Lorenzo Cain and leaving two runners on base.
STAR OF THE GAME: Daniel Nava
Nava’s two-out, three-run home run in the eighth inning gave the Sox the lead and eventually the win. It was his fourth home run of the season, tied for the team lead, and he is second with 14 RBI. He went 1-for-2 with a walk, raising his average to .342.
It was his first career home run in the eighth inning or later.
Three of his four home runs this season have come with the score tied or the Sox trailing.
HONORABLE MENTION: Lorenzo Cain
Cain went 4-for-4 with a home run, two doubles, an RBI, and three runs scored. Raising his average from .340 to .392. It was his third career four-hit game and the first game of his career with three extra-base hits. It was also his first game with two or more doubles as a member of the Royals, and third overall of his career. He has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, batting .486, going 18-for-73 with six multi-hit games in that span.
GOAT OF THE GAME: Kelvin Herrera
Herrera faced three batters, recording just one out. With two outs and Jonny Gomes on base, he walked Mike Napoli on four pitches before giving up the three-run home to Nava.
THE TURNING POINT
With two outs in the eighth inning Nava’s fourth home run of the season put the Red Sox ahead, scoring the eventual winning run.
BY THE NUMBERS: 7
The Sox extended their win streak to seven games, their longest since a nine-game stretch from June 3-12, 2011.
QUOTE OF NOTE
“This is our [expletive] city and no one’s going to dictate our freedom. Be strong.” --David Ortiz, at the end of Saturday’s emotional pregame ceremony