July 8, 2018

G91: Red Sox 7, Royals 4

Red Sox - 001 120 300 - 7 14  0
Royals  - 002 100 001 - 4 12  1
Andrew Benintendi knocked three singles and a double in his first four times up on Sunday, extending his string of reaching base to 10 consecutive plate appearances, before finally making an out in the eighth inning. Going back to Friday, Benintendi has reached base in 12 of his last 14 trips to the plate.

Benintendi wasn't the only hot hitter behind Boston's 62nd win of the season. Steve Pearce singled twice and walked twice. Xander Bogaerts also was on base four times, with a single, double, walk, and a Royals error. X had two RBI, as did Eduardo Nunez, who singled twice. Rick Porcello (7-9-3-1-9, 111) worked with baserunners in all but one of his seven innings, so he never really got into a steady rhythm, but he held the Royals to only two hits in 11 at-bats with RATS.

The Red Sox could have scored more than seven runs, but they hit into five double plays (in the first, second, fourth, seventh, and ninth innings). Sandy Leon and Nunez both hit into two and Mitch Moreland grounded into one. Boston last hit into five double plays on June 19, 2015 -- strangely enough, in a 7-3 win over the Royals in Kansas City! (The team record for DPs in a game is six.)

With one out in the third, Betts walked and went to third on Benintendi's single. Pearce's fly to left gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead. Porcello gave up two runs in the bottom half, on singles by Drew Butera and Whit Merrifield (5-for-5) and a two-run double from Jorge Bonifacio.

Boston tied the game 2-2 in the third when Bogaerts reached second on an infield error and scored on Nunez's single. But the Royals took the lead again in their half of the third. Alex Gordon singled, went to second on a groundout, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on Adalberto Mondesi's two-out single.

The Red Sox retook the lead for good in the fifth, chasing Heath Fillmyer (4.1-8-4-3-0, 73) in the process. Singled by Betts, Benintendi and Pearce loaded the bases with one out. Fillmyer walked Moreland to force in a run and Bogaerts hit a sac fly off new pitcher Glenn Sparkman to make it 4-3.

Benintendi opened the seventh with a double against Sparkman. Pearce and Moreland singled to score one run and Bogaerts doubled to make it 6-3. Nunez had a run-scoring single against Enny Romero.

Porcello began the seventh inning at 96 pitches. Butera singled and Merrifield doubled, and manager Alex Cora paid a visit to the mound. Porcello stayed in the game. He struck out Jorge Bonifacio and Mike Moustakas and walked off the mound as Lucas Duda flied to center.

The Royals scored a run off Tyler Thornburg in the ninth before Craig Kimbrel ended the game by striking out Moustakas and Duda (both of whom represented the potential tying run).

AL East: The Yankees beat the Blue Jays 2-1 in 10 innings. Boston remains 2 GA.
Rick Porcello / Jakob Junis Heath Fillmyer
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Pearce, DH
Moreland, 1B
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Nunez, 2B
Leon, C
Bradley, CF
Christian Vazquez fractured the pinkie finger on his throwing hand last night on a slide into second base and is now on the 10-day disabled list. ... Brian Johnson was also placed on the 10-day DL (retroactive to July 5) with left hip inflammation. William Cuevas was called up from Pawtucket.

Manager Alex Cora said Joe Kelly was taken out of last night's game because he felt "lightheaded" after covering first base on a ground ball.

Peter Abraham tweets that Andrew Benintendi is the only player since 1908 (and likely the only one in baseball history) to have at least one home run, one double, four walks and four runs scored in a game.

Benintendi is also the first Red Sox player with four walks and one home run since David Ortiz (who did it exactly 11 years earlier, July 7, 2007). A Red Sox batter has walked four times and homered 12 times since 1908. Ted Williams did it five times (including twice in 1946); no other Boston batter has done it more than once.

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweeted yesterday that the Red Sox have their eye on Fernando Rodney, the 41-year-old Twins reliever. I would not enjoy seeing his stupid theatrics in a Boston uniform.

Sean McAdam, Boston Sports Journal: "Remember earlier in the year when the Red Sox were belting grand slams left and right? Well, they haven't hit one in a long time." ... It's been a mere eight days (June 30) since Rafael Devers hit a grand slam. Granted, that has been Boston's only slam since hitting six in April, but eight days is not "a long time".

After starting the season 17-2, the Red Sox are 44-27, which a 100-win pace (.620).

AL East: MFY/TOR, 1 PM. The Red Sox are 2 GA.


allan said...

I added some cool Benintendi factoids to the post.

Jere said...

OB corrected himself during the game, at that point saying Beni had reached in 8 straight not 9. Later I had it on radio and they were saying he was up to 12 straight before correcting themselves, too. Wondering how they all had it wrong to begin with.

allan said...

Late in Friday's game, Swihart hit for him and got a hit. If you looked at a scorecard, you might count that hit as 10D's.