Rapid Reaction: Royals 5, Red Sox 4
April, 21, 2013
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- After entering the day with a seven-game winning streak, the Red Sox lost both games of a day-night doubleheader to the Kansas City Royals, losing the nightcap, 5-4, Sunday night at Fenway Park.
The game was tied at 4-4 when Red Sox reliever Andrew Miller loaded the bases in the top of the 10th inning, then walked in the winning run.
"I felt like I had better feel tonight, I just didn't execute and didn't do my job," Miller said.
"Inconsistent strikes," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "I thought he made a couple of good pitches to [Billy] Butler to get the strikeout, and then with the bases loaded, obviously, the bases-loaded walk, and unfortunately we were able to do anything against [Royals closer Greg] Holland."
The Sox lost the opener, 4-2.
The Red Sox recalled right-handed pitcher Allen Webster from Triple-A Pawtucket for the twinbill and he made his major league debut in the nightcap. The 23-year-old worked six innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts. He threw 84 pitches (57 strikes).
The Red Sox acquired the highly touted pitching prospect as part of their nine-player blockbuster with the Los Angeles Dodgers last August. Webster pitched well during spring training and began the season with the PawSox, where he made two starts and allowed only one run in 10 innings of work (0.90 ERA) while striking out 12.
By MLB rule, teams are allowed to add 26th man to the roster for a doubleheader, so Webster will be sent back to Pawtucket after the game and the move does not count against the Sox’s options on him.
Webster's first outing in the big leagues was a good one.
The Royals’ Alex Gordon led off the game with a first-pitch double off the Monster. Then teammate Alcides Escobar reached on a throwing error by Red Sox shortstop Pedro Ciriaco, who made a nice diving play in the hole, but air-mailed his throw over the dugout for the first error by a Red Sox infielder this season. Gordon came around to score on the miscue to give Kansas City a 1-0 lead.
The Red Sox scored a pair in the bottom of the second for a 2-1 lead. Mike Napoli led off with a solo home run when he crushed a 1-2 offering from Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie and deposited it over the Monster for his third homer of the season. Mike Carp added a RBI double later in the inning.
In the third, the Red Sox pushed another run across after Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a double and scored on Dustin Pedroia’s RBI single for a 3-1 advantage.
After allowing the one run in the first inning, Webster settled in and kept the Royals at bay until he allowed solo home runs in the top of the fifth to George Kottaras and Gordon as Kansas City tied the game at 3-3.
Boston regained the lead when Napoli provided a RBI single in the bottom of the fifth. It was his third hit of the game as Boston led, 4-3.
After Webster’s departure, Red Sox reliever Junichi Tazawa retired the side in order in the top of the seventh inning, but fellow reliever Koji Uehara allowed a solo homer to Billy Butler in the top of the eighth to knot the game at 4-4. That homer snapped Uehara’s scoreless streak at 18 1/3 innings and 22 consecutive scoreless outings.
After Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey retired the side in order in the top of the ninth, Boston had two runners on in the bottom half but left them stranded.
In the top of the 10th, Miller loaded the bases then walked in the go-ahead run as the Royals took a 5-4 lead. Boston could not respond in the bottom of the inning.
Nap's night -- Napoli went 3-for-5, including a home run, double, single and two RBIs. He has 20 RBIs in 18 games. Napoli nearly provided a walk-off, three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth when he crushed a ball to deep center field, but it didn’t have enough and was caught on the warning track to end the inning.
Web gem: -- Pedroia was a busy man during the nightcap and he turned in the defensive play of the game in the top of the sixth. With one out and a runner on first, Pedroia was shading toward second with the Royals’ Lorenzo Cain at the plate. Cain, a right-handed hitter, lined a shot to the right side of the infield when Pedroia made a diving stab for the out and nearly doubled up the runner at first. Pedroia finished the night with three assists and five putouts.
Streaking: -- With his leadoff double in the bottom of the third, Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He has a hit in 16 of 18 games this season.
Free speech: Red Sox DH David Ortiz made a triumphant return in more ways than one this weekend. Not only did he make an impassioned speech to the fans on Saturday, he’s also delivered at the plate. After going 5-for-8 with two RBIs in his first two games this season, Ortiz was given Sunday's nightcap off.
Up next: The Red Sox begin a three-game series with the Oakland Athletics on Monday at Fenway Park with Felix Doubront getting the start for Boston. The left-hander is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA this season. He’s 0-2 with a 12.86 ERA in two career starts against the A’s. Oakland will send right-hander A.J. Griffin (2-0, 2.25) to the mound.