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
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.