John Rieger-USA TodayRED SOX- After dropping the first two games at Kauffman Stadium- including a disappointing start by Jake Peavy where the Red Sox gave up 6 runs in the bottom of the 6th- the Red Sox needed Felix Doubront to stem the damage on Saturday night.
The Red Sox gave Doubront an early lead thanks to an RBI double from Stephen Drew in the top of the 4th, followed by an RBI single from Will Middlebrooks and a Jacoby Ellsbury double that brought home Middlebrooks to get Boston out to a 4-0 lead.
Kansas City came back in the bottom of the 5th with a leadoff walk to Alcides Escobar, followed by back to back RBI doubles from Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler before Alex Gordon got on board with a single, chasing Doubront from the mound with nobody out and bringing in Workman from the bullpen. Workman got the next batter to strike out before allowing an RBI single to center to make it a 4-3 game. Mike Moustakas then popped out to short and Workman got Brett Hayes to strike out swinging to escape the 5th inning still hanging on to a 4-3 lead.
However, given how adept the Royals had been at scoring off of Red Sox pitching in this series, the 1-run lead hardly seemed secure for Boston. In the top of the 6th, Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie got two quick outs from Drew and Saltalamacchia before Middlebrooks beat a throw to first from Royals 3B Moutsakas with two away. That brought up Ellsbury, who managed to find a gap in left center field to bring home Middlebrooks for an insurance run, although Ellsbury was thrown out trying to take third on the throw home. Boston headed into the bottom of the 6th with a 5-3 lead.
Breslow and Tazawa would come out of the bullpen and help shut out the Royals, despite each of them allowing doubles with less than two away. Koji Uehara would come on in the bottom of the 9th to close out the game with a 1-2-3 inning to preserve the 5-3 win and give the Red Sox their first win in Kauffman Stadium this season. Felix Doubront didn't last long enough to factor into the win, with Brandon Workman getting credit for the W. Meanwhile, Jacoby Ellsbury had an outstanding night at the plate, going 4-5 with 2 RBI. The win is only the third so far in Boston's 10-game road trip that's seen them go up against the Astros and will see them head to Toronto next.
Sunday's game should wrap up the season series between Kansas City and Boston with John Lackey [7-9; 3.21 ERA] going up against James Shields [6-8; 3.36 ERA]- although Lackey is a career 2-1 with en ERA right around 2.00 in his last five starts against the Royals, his most recent start at Kauffman stadium dates back to 2009, when he was still with the Angels. First pitch is at 2:10 PM ET and the game will be televised on NESN.
OTHER RED SOX NEWS- Red Sox catcher David Ross has begun a rehab assignment with the Portland Sea Dogs this weekend. Ross had been batting .185 with the Red Sox this season with 4 HR and 6 RBI altogether. The last game Ross appeared in was June 14th against the Orioles where he went 0-3 with two strikeouts.