Boston Red Sox

Red Sox bullpen falters in 5-3 loss to Royals

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Red Sox bullpen falters in 5-3 loss to Royals

BOSTON -- Knowing they've completely recovered from their rough first two months of the season, the Kansas City Royals are having a lot of fun.

Alex Gordon's two-run triple capped a four-run eighth inning, and the Royals rallied for a 5-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, a day after their season-high, nine-game winning streak was snapped.

Alcides Escobar added a two-run single in the eighth and drove in three runs for the Royals, who lost in extra innings on Saturday after taking the series opener.

"The vibes good right now," winning pitcher Jason Hammel said. "The vibes real good."

The Royals ended May in last in the AL Central - eight games under .500. They've taken off and now trail first-place Cleveland by two games after the Indians lost 3-1 to the White Sox in Chicago.

A few cheers went up in the clubhouse when the White Sox won.

Rookie Rafael Devers hit a solo homer for Boston and starter Drew Pomeranz gave up one run on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings in his 100th career start.

Hammel (5-8) allowed three runs on seven hits to end a six-start winless streak. His last victory also came against the Red Sox, at home on June 19.

Kelvin Herrera got the final three outs for his 23rd save, getting Mookie Betts to fly out with the bases loaded.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts booted Lorenzo Cain's grounder for an error to open the eighth and Eric Hosmer had a hard single off the right hand and body of Matt Barnes (6-3). Salvador Perez then loaded the bases with a single.

"It opens the door, and then all of a sudden there's life instead of the potential of an out, nobody on, against a team that is aggressive, playing with a lot of momentum," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of the error.

Escobar followed with his game-tying single before Gordon greeted reliever Robby Scott with his hit that rolled into the left-center gap and bounced off the edge of the bullpen wall in right-center, making it 5-3.

"It's been an up and down season. Early-on everybody was talking about getting rid of all these players and what not, and then we just kind of took it upon ourselves to play better," Gordon said. "It's been a heck of a year and we like where we're at right now."

Before the game, the Royals acquired outfielder Melky Cabrera from the Chicago White Sox for two minor league pitchers in a bid to bolster their offense.

Gordon entered the day hitting just .201 with five homers and 32 RBIs.

The switch-hitting Cabrera is batting .288 with 13 homers and 56 RBIs.

Boston moved ahead 2-0 in the second on consecutive RBI singles by Mitch Moreland and Christian Vazquez.

The Royals sliced it to 2-1 on Escobar's double before Devers hit his second career homer, a drive that barely cleared the top of the Green Monster and bounced onto the field.

It was originally called "in play" and a double when he stopped, but overturned by the umpiring crew after a brief review.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: Second baseman Dustin Pedroia missed his second straight with a sore left knee.

ANNIVERSARY

The Red Sox honored their 2007 World Series champion team on the field before the game.

Recently retired slugger David Ortiz was asked if the current club could use his bat for the stretch run.

"Not me, man. I've been doing nothing but slow cycle, bro," he said, laughing. "I sit down and watch the game now and say, `Man, that's hard.' I view the game differently now."

Former lefty reliever Hideki Okajima flew from Japan on Saturday to be a part of the event.

Mike Lowell, the 2007 Series MVP, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to former catcher Jason Varitek.

FUN UNDER THE SUN

Kansas City is 17-7 in its last 24 day games after opening losing 11 of its first 12.

NO EXCUSE

Barnes had a bandage on his right hand after, but credited the Royals.

"I didn't think I made terrible pitches," he said. "I didn't think I was leaving the ball middle and I was getting hit. I thought that they kind of did what hitters are taught to do with pitches away."

UP NEXT

Royals: LHP Danny Duffy (7-6, 3.56 ERA) is slated to start the opener of a three-game series in Baltimore on Monday.

Red Sox: RHP Doug Fister (0-5, 7.46) is in line to start Monday when Boston hosts AL Central-leading Cleveland in the first of three.

BASEBALL SHOW PODCAST: What are biggest concerns about Red Sox?

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BASEBALL SHOW PODCAST: What are biggest concerns about Red Sox?

1:00 - Shaughnesy, Drellich and Merloni give their leading off impressions regarding the Red Sox

4:00 - Dan Shaughnessy explains why he is still skeptical about the Red Sox team, and why he will not be able to feel confident until he sees them play in the postseason

9:00 - Does our Baseball Show crew have a problem with the Red Sox letting Chris Sale pitch the 8th inning so he could get his 300th strikeout?

15:00 - Jared Carrabis joins the Baseball Show crew to discuss what matches he likes for the Red Sox in the playoffs. 

17:00 - Jared Carrabis on how would the Red Sox match up against the Yankees in the playoffs

20:00 - How does Jared Carrabis think about the use of David Price as a relief pitcher?

Red Sox beat Reds 5-4, reduce A.L. East magic number to three

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Red Sox beat Reds 5-4, reduce A.L. East magic number to three

CINCINNATI - Mookie Betts doubled with the bases loaded to tie it in the eighth inning and dashed home from second base on an infield single, rallying the Boston Red Sox to a 5-4 victory Sunday over the Cincinnati Reds that moved them closer to the AL East title.

By winning 14 of its last 17 games, Boston has left virtually no opening for the second-place New York Yankees to catch up. The Red Sox, already assured a playoff spot, completed an 8-1 road trip that put them in excellent position to win a second consecutive division crown for the first time in franchise history.

Coupled with New York's 9-5 loss in Toronto, the Red Sox reduced their magic number to three. They lead the Yankees by five games with seven to play.

That means Fenway Park can start preparing for a potential celebration. Boston finishes the regular season at home with three games against Toronto and four vs. Houston.

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