The Royals gave the Red Sox an unfriendly reminder of who, exactly, is the playoff contender Saturday night, getting to Rubby De La Rosa for five runs in just four innings of work and cruising to a 7-1 blowout win over Boston.
After getting a strong performance from Allen Webster Friday night, perhaps the Red Sox were due for a letdown from Rubby De La Rosa. He certainly wasted no time in letting the fanbase know their debts were due. Before De La Rosa could so much as record an out, he'd already surrendered the opening run to the Royals on an Alcides Escobar double and Norichika Aoki single. A second would come in when Christian Vazquez attempted to catch Aoki straying off third as he has a fair few other baserunners before, the throw hitting Aoki and ricocheting into shallow left field, allowing the Royals' shortstop to come home.
The game would get better before it would get worse, at least. Mike Moustakas repaid Vazquez' error in the third inning, allowing Mookie Betts to reach base and then score after a David Ortiz single and Yoenis Cespedes sacrifice fly.
That run would bring the Red Sox within one, but they would not stay that close for very long. The fourth saw De La Rosa allow three straight leadoff hits, with the Royals ultimately able to cash in on all three after an RBI ground out and, of all things, run-scoring balk. It was just that sort of night for the Red Sox' starter, unable to ever really get comfortable in the game, and left with no real positives to show for his four innings of work.
To say the Red Sox did not put up much of a fight from that point on would be an understatement. After David Ortiz' single in the fourth, the Red Sox would not only go without another hit, but without so much as a baserunner until there were two down in the ninth, when Allen Craig produced a decent single to right, with Mike Napoli grounding out to finally end the game.
Not even that, though, was the sum total of this game's negatives. Fresh off his strong debut, Matt Barnes entered the game in the eighth and struck out the side, but not at all in order, first allowing a walk, double, and two singles to bring home another pair of runs for the Royals, leaving the Sox on the wrong end of a depressing 7-1 final score.12