The Red Sox and Royals are set to start a three-game set in Kauffman Stadium as they hope their ability to win on the road helps them snap a five game losing streak that has dropped them to 11-16.
We'll keep you up to date with all the action as it goes down in Kansas City.
Red Sox 11, Royals 5, Final -- An 8-out save from Vicente Padilla nets the Red Sox their first win in six tries. Big nights from Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, and of course Will Middlebrooks.
Red Sox 11, Royals 5, Mid 9th -- Aaron Crow manages to strand a pair of Red Sox on the basepaths with a strikeout of David Ortiz. We're headed to the bottom of the ninth and all the Sox need to do is not give up six (or more) runs.
Can't be that hard, can it?
Red Sox 11, Royals 5, End 8th -- Vicente Padilla gets himself in a little bit of trouble with a pair of one-out singles, but gets another double play ball--this time off the bat of Brayan Pena--to end the threat without any damage.
Red Sox 11, Royals 5, Mid 8th -- The Red Sox add some insurance runs, and, oh yes, Will Middlebrooks is an absolute monster. After a walk to Dustin Pedroia and another intentional walk of David Ortiz (by a lefty to get to Cody Ross), the Royals are made to pay as Ross hits a two-run double to the warning track.
Adrian Gonzalez can't produce a third hit, but it doesn't matter, because Will Middlebrooks is up next. Taking the first pitch in the dirt, Middlebrooks gets one in the zone and puts a tremendous charge into the ball, bouncing it high off the left field foul pole for his third homer in two games.
Red Sox 7, Royals 5, End 7th -- Bobby Valentine's slow hook nearly costs the Sox another game in the seventh. With Felix Doubront's pitch count rising, Bobby watches him allow three singles and record just one out in the inning...and then leaves him in to walk in the fifth Kansas City run.
Vicente Padilla manages to save the day by getting Billy Butler to ground into a double play, but how much more proof do the Sox need that he's not the right man for this job.
Or any job for that matter?
Red Sox 7, Royals 4, Mid 7th -- The hits just keep on coming for Will Middlebrooks. After Adrian Gonzalez leads off the inning with a seeing-eye single up the middle, Middlebrooks launches a 2-1 fastball over Dyson's head in center for a double.
Unfortunately, even with men on second and third with nobody out, Kelvin Herrera is able to keep the Sox off the board with a triple digit fastball, getting three quick outs without a one of them being productive.
Red Sox 7, Royals 4, End 6th -- What a frame from Felix Doubront! Alex Gordon and Jeff Francoeur each go down swinging on three pitches a piece, and Doubront gets Moustakas to fly out with just two more. On a night which could have seen him avoid any runs, he's managed to overcome defensive lapses and bad luck well enough to pitch into the seventh.
Red Sox 7, Royals 4, Mid 6th -- Another scoreless frame for Royals relievers, as they make the wise decision to intentionally walk David Ortiz after a Dustin Pedroia double and then get Cody Ross to ground into a double play to end the inning.
Red Sox 7, Royals 4, End 5th -- A two out single breaks up a streak of six batters retired in a row for Felix Doubront, but he recovers to record the final out in a hurry and send the game to the sixth inning.
At 78 pitches, Doubront has a chance to go deep for the Sox for once, which is much-needed one day after the bullpen was forced to throw some 13 innings. He's not had a strikeout yet tonight, but perhaps that's to credit for his low pitch count.
Red Sox 7, Royals 4, Mid 5th -- The Royals keep the Sox off the board for an inning, albeit only thanks to a pitchout which catches Darnell McDonald between bases for the second out.
Red Sox 7, Royals 4, End 4th -- Felix Doubront has a 1-2-3 inning, taking matters into his own hands for the second out by knocking down a line drive with some combination of glove and thigh. If you want a job done right, they say, you have to do it yourself.
Red Sox 7, Royals 4, Mid 4th -- The Sox make it a three-run game again and chase Jonathan Sanchez as Kelly Shoppach and Dustin Pedroia contribute to the Boston cause. Shoppach leads off the inning by going all the way to the wall in center field for what becomes his first career triple as it hits off of Alex Gordon's wrist. After Shoppach scores on Mike Aviles' ground out, Dustin Pedroia makes it 7-4 with an opposite field shot--his fourth homer of the young campaign.
Red Sox 5, Royals 4, End 3rd -- Felix Doubront must have walked under a ladder or broken a mirror or be playing for the Red Sox, because nothing is going right for him right now. A drag bunt to second gets the Royals a leadoff baserunner, and a shattered bat ground ball that Will Middlebrooks has to make an off-balance throw on from next to the mound costs the Sox a couple runs as the throw goes wide of Adrian Gonzalez and into the outfield, allowing Alex Gordon to reach third and Jarrod Dyson to score. With Gordon scoring on a ground ball to second, the Sox' lead was cut to just the one run.
Red Sox 5, Royals 2, Mid 3rd -- It had been about a week since David Ortiz' last home run, so...he was due, I guess. Getting ahead 1-0, Ortiz got a pitch over the plate and blasted a high fly ball that just kept carrying well over the wall in center for the solo shot.
Red Sox 4, Royals 2, End 2nd -- Kansas City strikes back for a pair of runs in the second with the help of a bit of a misplay by Marlon Byrd, who allows a long fly to center to fall behind him as he hesitantly chases it towards the warning track. The double moves Jeff Francoeur, on by way of a leadoff walk, to third, and both score on productive outs.
Red Sox 4, Royals 0, Mid 2nd -- Sanchez calms down with the help of his defense, as Mike Moustakas makes a diving stop on a hard shot to third to get Kelly Shoppach for the second out. Mike Aviles would single up the middle to give the Sox a baserunner, but Dustin Pedroia could only fly out to center, ending the threat.
Red Sox 4, Royals 0, End 1st -- Felix Doubront gives up a four pitch walk with two outs, strangely bringing Bobby Valentine to the mound. Whatever Valentine said, it certainly didn't hurt, as the next two pitches found the zone for strikes before the third pitch got Hosmer to pop out to third.
Red Sox 4, Royals 0, Mid 1st -- Talk about the perfect start for the Red Sox--they got exactly what they needed in the top of the first. Mike Aviles flew out to start the game off on the wrong foot, but Dustin Pedroia drew a walk to give the Sox a baserunner. David Ortiz made it two with a line drive into center field before Cody Ross struck out to put Adrian Gonzalez in a big spot.
Adrian didn't have the prettiest at bat. He looked ready to swing at a couple of bad pitches before pulling up short, and in the end was jammed on a 3-2 pitch, but as luck would have it he managed to find the perfect patch of grass in shallow left for the RBI single. Hopefully that's all he'll need to get started.
Perhaps more important for the Red Sox, however, is that he managed to get Will Middlebrooks to the plate with two men on. The rookie third baseman is clearly feeling it now. Receiving a first pitch just above the belt and away, Will Middlebrooks' power showed through as he almost tapped the ball down the right field line and around the foul pole for a three-run shot, giving the Sox a 4-0 lead.