The Red Sox snapped a four-game losing streak Thursday night thanks to some sloppy play from the Kansas City Royals.
It would be nice to say the Red Sox stormed into Kansas City, took no prisoners, and left winners, but that's really not the entire story of tonight's game. That's not to say the Red Sox played poorly either, mind. They were...good enough. Getting the start on the mound, Clay Buchholz struggled to find his rhythm early on, surviving a leadoff double in the first before surrendering two runs in the second when the Royals put together three straight two-out hits, albeit only one of them coming on hard contact.
Where in the past we've seen some tough breaks lead Clay into a spiral of failure, however, tonight he collected himself and settled down admirably. A Nori Aoki walk was all the Royals would manage in the third-through-fifth innings, and while Kansas City would get on the board again in the sixth, capitalizing on a leadoff hit batter, Buchholz finished the night with a very solid performance to his name: 6.1 innings with three runs--two earned--on six hits, three walks, and seven strikeouts. It was hardly the best we've seen from him this past month, but it was good enough to maintain the trend of positive performances, which is more or less what matters at the moment.
Buchholz' night looks even better when placed up against that of Kansas City starter Liam Hendriks, who didn't escape the third. He, however, can hardly be considered to blame for his poor night. Red Sox would score their first run of the night in the second when Will Middlebrooks doubled, and came home to score when Eric Hosmer let the third out of the inning get right past him. Two runs in the third were more clearly of the earned variety, with Hendriks loading the bases on a Mookie Betts single, Xander Bogaerts walk, and plunking of Yoenis Cespedes before Mike Napoli drew an RBI base on balls and Will Middlebrooks again managed to contribute with an RBI single, putting the Sox ahead 3-1.
That would actually spell the end of Liam Hendriks' night--a rather early dismissal from the game all things considered--and herald the arrival of Casey Coleman. Coleman, however, proved no more immune to the Royals' struggles in the field, with two errors and an infield single helping the Red Sox push across another run in the fourth.
While the Royals did manage to pull within one run after the sixth, the Red Sox finally got some breathing room back in the eighth, with Jemile Weeks doubling home Will Middlebrooks and Christian Vazquez after a pair of walks to make it 6-3 Red Sox. From there, it was just a scoreless pair of innings from Junichi Tazawa and Edward Mujica left between the Red Sox and victory.