The top of the Boston lineup has provided opportunities twice already tonight, but had very similar and unfortunate results both times. The first inning saw the Sox record two quick outs, but get on a short roll started by Adrian Gonzalez, who broke an 0-for-14 streak by hitting a ground ball past Billy Butler for a double.
The Royals elected not to test Dustin Pedroia's ability to hit left-handed hitting--probably a good idea--and gave him the intentional walk. While the Sox would pick up a hit with RISP, Jed Lowrie's flair into right was covered quickly by Jeff Francoeur, and with Adrian Gonzalez running, the Sox had to settle for loading the bases for Ryan Lavarnway. Unfortunately, the rookie could not get the job done, grounding out on the second pitch of the at bat to end the threat.
The third inning would prove nearly the same. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the frame with a single and, after a ground out from Mike Aviles and a questionable called strike three on Adrian Gonzalez, the Royals decided once again to give Dustin Pedroia the free pass. Again, the decision would pay off despite another hit from Jed Lowrie--this one almost caught by a leaping Alcides Escobar, who had the ball pop from the snowcone-like grip he snagged it with. Ryan Lavarnway gave it a better try this time, making solid contact, but his fly ball died before the track, falling harmlessly into Francoeur's glove.
The Royals had gone down in order in the first, and only managed the lone hit in the second, but of course Andrew Miller couldn't keep things scoreless forever. A leadoff double from Mike Moustakas turned into a run when, despite a terrific play from Jacoby Ellsbury to run the gapper down, he was brought in on a sac fly from Alex Gordon.