Boston Red Sox

Red Sox lose 4-2 to Royals, drop out of AL East lead

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Red Sox lose 4-2 to Royals, drop out of AL East lead

BOSTON -- Rick Porcello stepped in for David Price, who is back on the disabled list.

Kansas City's offense wasn't fazed by the switch.

Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas homered as the Royals extended their winning streak to a season-high nine with a 4-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.

Perez homered over the Green Monster in the second and Moustakas made it 4-0 in the fourth. He hit his 30th homer in his 92nd game, the fastest to reach the mark in team history, and he is six homers shy of the Kansas City season record set by Steve Balboni in 1985.

"It was a big win for us against a great club over there," Moustakas said. "It's always nice to hit homers, but when they help you go ahead or add some runs against a great team, it definitely makes it a little better."

Jorge Bonifacio had singled leading off, and Eric Hosmer beat the shift with a single to left that put runners at the corners.

Porcello (4-14), who had been scheduled to pitch Saturday, leads the major leagues in losses. He allowed four runs and six hits in seven innings.

"The one to Moustakas is really the one that's going to make it hard to sleep tonight," Porcello said. "He was fouling off some pitches off - just trying to drive a fastball in right there and if I miss for a ball so be it. I didn't have a problem putting him on and ran right back into his barrel."

Price started the season on the DL and didn't make his first start until May 29. The 31-year-old left-hander, winner of the 2012 AL Cy Young Award, is 5-3 with a 3.82 ERA.

"I do not know if he'll miss the season," Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombroski. "I'm not anticipating that at this time."

Porcello said that he "knew pretty early" after his July 23 start at the Los Angeles Angels that it was possible he would be moved up.

"It was early enough for me to prepare and be fine," he said.

Boston has lost five of six and nine of 14, dropping out of the AL East lead for the first time since June 29 and falling a half-game behind the New York Yankees.

Jason Vargas (13-4) gave up one run and five hits in six innings. Vargas, who had been winless in three starts since June 30, is one shy of his career high for wins, set in 2012 with Seattle.

Kelvin Herrera pitched a one-hit ninth for his 22nd save in 25 chances, getting rookie Rafael Devers to hit into a game-ending forceout after Andrew Benintendi's two-out single.

Kansas City, which has rebounded from a 7-16 start, is 15-8 in July and on its longest winning streak since nine consecutive victories from last Aug. 14-23. The Royals have outscored opponents 67-27 during the streak and outhomered them 20-2.

Three days after his big league debut, Devers went 1 for 2 in his first home game for the Red Sox. He doubled down the right-field line in the fifth and scored on Mookie Betts' single, and at 20 years, 277 days became the youngest Boston player with a hit at Fenway Park since Mike Garman in 1969.

Chris Young tripled off Mike Minor leading off the seventh and scored on Sandy Leon's groundout.

CLUTCH

Ten of Perez's 21 homers have put the Royals ahead.

LATER, DAD

The Royals dealt RHP Luke Farrell, the son of the Red Sox manager, to the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash considerations. Farrell made his major league debut on July 1, allowing five runs over 2 2/3 innings against the Twins.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: Perez returned to the lineup after leaving Tuesday's game and sitting out Wednesday with soreness on his right side. ... The Royals recalled OF Terrance Gore from Triple-A Omaha. Gore has split time between Double- and Triple-A this season, hitting .231 with 17 steals. ... OFs Paulo Orlando and Cheslor Cuthbert will remain on rehab assignment after both suffering setbacks.

Red Sox: LHP Robby Scott was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Price's roster spot.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Trevor Cahill (4-3, 3.69 for San Diego) is to make his first start for the Royal on Saturday following his acquisition from the Padres. Cahill is 0-2 with a 7.79 ERA at Fenway Park.

Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3, 3.89) is 1-0 with a 2.38 ERA in four home starts this season but is 0-2 in three starts since beating Seattle on May 26.

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 wasn't about to stop. Neither are the Red Sox, who are heading home with a chance to win another division title.

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 Red Sox to a 5-4 victory Sunday that moved them closer to an AL East championship.

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, something they've never done.

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.

"We're learning a lot about ourselves," said Doug Fister, who pitched into the sixth. "We can put ourselves in a corner early and fight back. If we need a touchdown, the boys can put up a touchdown."

Boston inched closer with more late-game flair. The Red Sox lead the majors with 11 wins when trailing after the seventh inning.

They loaded the bases against Raisel Iglesias (3-3), who had blown only one save chance all season. Betts had fouled a ball off his foot on Friday night and missed one game. His double tied it 5-all, and he sprinted home on the still-sore foot - diving headfirst into the plate - on Rafael Devers' infield single.

"I felt he had a chance to beat it, and with me running it was going to be a tough play at the plate," Betts said.

Robby Scott (2-1) got the win, and Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 35th save in 39 chances. He hasn't allowed a run in his last 11 appearances.

Billy Hamilton helped the Reds go up 4-1. He tripled home a run and brought the crowd to its feet by scoring after getting caught in a rundown between first and second. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia made a wild throw, and Hamilton kept going when nobody covered home.

"In my whole career, that's one of the best ones, especially since I was in a rundown and just trying to get to second base and then I end up scoring," Hamilton said.

GOT THEIR BACKS

Red Sox and Reds players stood for the national anthem. Boston manager John Farrell said if any of his players decide to follow the example of other athletes and make a statement during the anthem, he'll support them. "We strive to create an environment that's inclusive," Farrell said. "We would have their back as an organization if that's the expression they chose. It's their constitutional right."

INTERLEAGUE

The Red Sox are 12-1 against the Reds all-time in the regular season and have won nine straight, their longest winning streak against any NL team since interleague play started in 1997. The Reds beat the Red Sox in seven games for the 1975 World Series championship. Overall, Boston is 16-4 in interleague play this season. The Reds are 5-15.

90 LOSSES AGAIN

The Reds reached the 90-loss mark for the third straight year. They lost 98 games in 2015 and 94 last year. It's the first time they've had three straight 90-loss seasons since 1930-34.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: INF Eduardo Nunez ran the bases before the game, his next step in recovering from a sprained knee.

Reds: Hamilton was back in the lineup after getting a day off. He's played twice since returning from a broken left thumb.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (16-5) faces Blue Jays LHP Brett Anderson (1-2) on Monday night. Pomeranz is 7-1 with a 2.62 ERA in 13 starts since the All-Star break.

Reds: After a day off, they finish with three games in Milwaukee and three at the Chicago Cubs. Deck McGuire (0-0) makes his first major league start Tuesday night against Zach Davies (17-9).

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