Based on the beginning of the game, it would be hard not to think about the torturous 14-inning marathon that took place Monday night. The Red Sox had an ace on the mound then in Jon Lester as they do today in Josh Beckett, and the Royals were pitching anything but in Kyle Davies and, today, Luke Hochevar.
Josh Beckett had done what Lester did, and what he was expected to: he’s shut down the Royals for three innings, using just 33 pitches to do so. Luke Hochevar, meanwhile, seemed nigh-unhittable against the top of the Sox’ lineup.
That changed in the third inning, however. Jason Varitek and Yamaico Navarro led off the frame with a single and a double respectively. With Jacoby Ellsbury at the plate, the Royals went back to the curveball-heavy approach that they’d employed for much of the series against the Red Sox center fielder. He was having none of it, taking the third bender he saw and sending it into right field, scoring both baserunners in the process.
Unfortunately, the lead hasn’t lasted long at all. Alex Gordon and Mitch Maier worked a pair of tough at bats against the Red Sox ace, each drawing a walk on a full count. Up came Billy Butler, who’s been a major thorn in the Red Sox’ side this series, to do his usual thing, launching a 1-2 fastball out of the park and onto the batter’s eye in center for the three-run homer.
The Royals have added another run now between a bad play from Drew Sutton and a double from Mike Moustakas. The inning is now mercifully over, but only after nearly forty pitches from Beckett, and four runs from the Royals.