In what promised to be an impressive pitching duel, both David Price and Danny Duffy proved vulnerable early, but where the Red Sox' lefty buckled down to turn in a solid outing, Kansas City's let the Red Sox blow things open and finally get back into the win column.
For Price, this wasn't exactly an easy game. He would manage only one clean inning on the night in the fourth, when he struck out Salvador Perez and Alcides Escobar, and after getting an easy out from Kendrys Morales to start the second, surrendered three extra-base hits in the span of eight pitches including a Perez homer to give the Royals two runs.
The Red Sox, though, had already given him enough runs to match that, and wouldn't take long to recover from his second-inning struggles. Where Friday had seen the Red Sox let one of baseball's more extreme fly ball pitchers get away with baserunner after baserunner without ever collecting that one huge hit, on Saturday they were all about the big ones. Duffy quickly found himself on the wrong side of a two-run shot from Xander Bogaerts with Pedroia on base via a single in the first. Then, after Chris Young led off the second with a walk, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Pedroia hit back-to-back doubles to regain their two-run lead at 4-2.
Duffy would manage just one scoreless inning in the third, but quickly went back to surrendering runs in the fourth, as Pedroia again struck to single home Chris Young. Then, in the fifth, it was back to the big flies, with Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez going back-to-back into the Monster seats to make it seven runs for the Red Sox.
Price, on the other hand, would recover reasonably well from his early difficulties. After the aforementioned clean fourth, he stranded Cheslor Cuthbert at second in the fifth, then struck out Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon in the sixth. With 110 pitches on his arm, Price wasn't quite able to make it another gem of a performance like he's had a few of recently, but he let what eventually proved to be an eight-run Red Sox attack produce the blowout it should.
Even with that big lead, the Red Sox used up some of their more viable pen arms, turning to Brad Ziegler and Clay Buchholz in the seventh and eighth, which should give you an idea of just how little trust there is for the other pitchers in that unit. That, however, was not the big story of the last few innings. You may have noticed a few Dustin Pedroia hits mentioned earlier. He had four in all, which were numbers eight, nine, ten, and eleven in a row for the second baseman, leaving him just one shy of the MLB record. He would get his chance for history in the eighth, but unfortunately could deliver only a routine ground ball to second for a double play.
Oh well, the Red Sox will take a ridiculous run from Pedroia, even if it fell a bit short, and more importantly, a win that gets them headed back in the right direction, and keeps them within a game of first place.