Butler's home run leads Royals to 6-4 win

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Butler's home run leads Royals to 6-4 win

KANSAS CITY -- Matt Albers took the longest scoreless game streak of any Red Sox reliever to the mound in the eighth inning.

Neither he nor it lasted long.

Called on to help protect a 4-3 lead after starter Daniel Bard walked the first two hitters of the inning, Albers gave up a three-run homer to Billy Butler, sending the Kansas City Royals to a 6-4 comeback win over the Red Sox.

Albers was not scored upon over his previous seven outings and had allowed just one run over his last 13 13 innings before
Butler struck.

The Sox had snapped a 3-3 tie in the fifth when Nick Punto's takeout slide forced a throwing error by second baseman Chris Getz, allowing Adrian Gonzalez to score all the way from second base.

Boston had taken a 2-0 lead in the second on a run-scoring single by Kelly Shoppach and a bases-loaded walk to Dustin Pedroia.

Bard endured a brutal second inning in which he balked twice, walked one and threw a wild pitch as Kansas City scored three times.

He retired 11 of the next 13 hitters he faced and allowed just three hits from the third through the seventh inning.

The loss was the sixth in the last seven games for the Red Sox.
STAR OF THE GAME - Billy Butler.

With one swing of the bat, the Royals DH turned a one-run deficit into a two-run lead -- and eventually, a Kansas City victory -- with his three-run homer in the eighth inning.

It was the sixth time this season that a Butler home run had
put the Royals ahead.
HONORABLE MENTION - Kansas City bullpen

After starter Danny Duffy was chased in the fifth inning, three Royals relievers -- Kelvin Herrera, Jose Mijares and Jonathan Broxton -- combined to blank the Red Sox over the final 4 23 innings.
GOAT OF THE GAME - Matt Albers

Albers served up the game-winning, three-run belt to Butler, snapping a streak of seven consecutive scoreless appearances.

TURNING POINT - The two walks issued by Daniel Bard -- who had walked just two in the previous seven innings -- to start the eighth inning helped set up the homer for Butler.
BY THE NUMBERS - The game marked the third time -- and second year in
a row -- that Adrian Gonzalez had a multi-hit game in his birthday.

QUOTE OF NOTE - "It's kind of where I'm at right now -- trying to learn
how to finish games, get through that 100-110 pitches while feeling strong
to the end.'' -- Daniel Bard.

Price asks Red Sox fans for support: 'We will get through this'

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Price asks Red Sox fans for support: 'We will get through this'

If you're upset with the way the Red Sox have played recently, well, David Price understands.

But things, he vows, will get better. And he adds that it's only when you've been in the deepest valley that you can appreciate the highest mountain.

Or something like that . . .

Rodriguez shipped back to PawSox as Sox seek rotation answers

Rodriguez shipped back to PawSox as Sox seek rotation answers

After Eduardo Rodriguez's horrific performance Monday night against the Rays -- 11 hits and 9 earned runs allowed in 2 2/3 innings, leading to a 13-7 Red Sox loss to a team that entered the game riding an 11-game losing streak -- the Sox succumbed to the obvious and shipped him back to Pawtucket.  

And they got no argument from Sean McAdam.

"I think this is the right move," CSN's Red Sox Insider told Dalen Cuff on Monday night's SportsNet Central. "Because, clearly, the step forward that [Rodriguez] took, however small, last week was more than wiped out and (he) regressed this evening the way he pitched. And things have to be worked out, both in terms of execution and his approach . . . "

In six starts this season covering 29 1/3 innings -- less than five innings a start -- Rodriguez has been, in a word, awful. His 1-3 record is bad enough, but couple that with an 8.59 ERA, an opponents' batting average of .315, a WHIP of 1.74 and nine home runs allowed (a rate that projects out to about 45 homers allowed in a 150-inning season), and you can see why a change had to be made.

“The bottom line is, [Rodriguez] is capable of more," said manager John Farrell.

But now comes the next question: Who replaces him? And that, noted McAdam, has no easy answer.

"What it means for the rotation going forward is completely uncertain," McAdam told Cuff. "In fact, (Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski) told us that there was no corresponding move. Of course, because this turn doesn't come up in the rotation for another five days with the off-day Thursday, it's not anything they need to address (immediately). And in all likelihood, they'll probably get somebody to pitch out of the bullpen here until that turn comes up."

So the Sox get five days to ponder a problem that seems, in many ways unsolvable.

"[There] aren't a lot of good candidates internally," McAdam noted, "and it's unlikely there's going to be any sort of trade . . . in the next four days to fill that spot