The Red Sox are out for a series win against the Kansas City Royals as they send Daisuke Matsuzaka to the mound to take on Luke Hochevar. We'll keep you up to date on the action as it goes down in Fenway Park.
Red Sox 5, Royals 1, Mid 8th -- Clayton Mortensen gets into a bit of trouble by allowing a pair of one-out singles on back-to-back pitches to Alex Gordon and Billy Butler. Vicente Padilla comes in, however, and saves him from trouble by quickly inducing an inning-ending double play to bring the Royals to their last three outs.
Red Sox 5, Royals 1, End 7th -- Scott Podsednik's single is the only even of note in an otherwise quiet seventh inning. This game doesn't seem to be headed for a dramatic finish, but we'll see.
Red Sox 5, Royals 1, Mid 7th -- Daisuke Matsuzaka comes back out for the seventh, and handles it with aplomb, once again surrendering just the one baserunner in a scoreless frame of work.
Red Sox 5, Royals 1, End 6th -- Once again it's Jacoby Ellsbury and Cody Ross getting the job done for the Red Sox. Ellsbury shows power to the opposite field this time, planting a double off the wall to start the attack with one out. Cody Ross follows suit with a wall ball double of his own to drive Ellsbury in, and James Loney finds the outfield grass with a single to bring Ross in and make it 5-1, Red Sox.
Red Sox 3, Royals 1, Mid 6th -- Gotta hand it to Daisuke, he's having a very good day. After putting two men on, Matsuzaka battles back to get Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas out, the latter with an inning-ending strikeout.
Red Sox 3, Royals 1, End 5th -- Luke Hochevar breaks his on-off pattern with a very strong fifth, striking out two batters in a 1-2-3 inning.
Red Sox 3, Royals 1, Mid 5th -- Daisuke gives up a double in the fifth, but it only comes after he strikes out the first two batters he faces, and a Jarrod Dyson ground ball gets him out of the inning unharmed.
Red Sox 3, Royals 1, End 4th -- One inning off, one on for Luke Hochevar, who enjoys a 1-2-3 fourth after surrendering two in the third.
Red Sox 3, Royals 1, Mid 4th -- Daisuke is leading some kind of charmed life right now. Despite having his hit surrounded by a line drive and a ground ball that seemed perfectly placed to third, the sharply hit ball goes straight to Dustin Pedroia for the out, and Pedro Ciriaco makes the tough play to get Mike Moustakas at first for the third out of the inning.
Red Sox 3, Royals 1, End 3rd -- The Red Sox strike again against Luke Hochevar in the third. A pair of one-out singles sets up Jacoby Ellsbury at the plate, but the center fielder can't come through like he did in the first. Instead, the task falls to Cody Ross, who just barely misses an opportunity for a bat flip. His rocket shot catches the very top of the Green Monster, which in this case does not give, but takes. It even takes Ross off the basepaths as he's caught at second for the final out of the inning, but with both runners making it home, the Red Sox won't mind that tradeoff too much.
Red Sox 1, Royals 1, Mid 3rd -- A bloop single to right is all the Royals get in the third, as Daisuke Matsuzaka works on his best "not Daisuke Matsuzaka" impression.
Red Sox 1, Royals 1, End 2nd -- Mauro Gomez draws a walk, but that's all the Sox get in the second inning against Hochevar.
Red Sox 1, Royals 1, Mid 2nd -- Daisuke Matsuzaka gets a 1-2-3 second with some help from Jacoby Ellsbury, who makes a nice grab up against the Monster to rob Lorenzo Cain of extra bases.
Red Sox 1, Royals 1, End 1st -- Hard contact for the Red Sox gives Boston a run in about the most encouraging fashion possible. After a long fly ball from Dustin Pedroia is turned into a spectacular leaping grab at the wall by none other than Jarrod Dyson, Jacoby Ellsbury gets a high fastball over the plate and turns on it, launching a solo shot into the right field stands. He's been on a roll the last few days--if the power starts coming back, the Sox will be very happy going into 2013.
Royals 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 1st -- The most predictable of starts to the day for Daisuke Matsuzaka leads to an early run for the Royals. A leadoff walk puts Jarrod Dyson at first, and lets him start running freely against Matsuzaka. Taking off on the first pitch, Dyson reached second, and then moved to third when Dustin Pedroia couldn't grab the too-high throw from Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Pedroia was for some reason given the error). A ground ball to third kept Dyson on the bag, but hard contact to right from Alex Gordon gives Dyson enough room to tag up and head home on a sacrifice fly.