Raul Mondesi And Royals Crush Red Sox 10-4 To Win Series In Boston
Raul mondesi and Royals Crush Red Sox 10-4 To Win Series In Boston
The defending World Series Champions had an impressive eight-run sixth inning. Rookie Raul Mondesi recorded a three-run triple that put the Royals ahead for good, and thus led them to win the series 2-1 and earn their 17th victory in the last 21 games.
Kansas City is now 5 1/2 games behind in the American League Central, but just three behind the Orioles for the second Wild Card spot. The Red Sox are two behind in the AL East, leading Baltimore by one game in the Wild Card standings.
The Royals’ efforts for playoff contention have coincided, funnily enough, with the arrival of a pair of praying mantises, a lucky charm that has served as an unofficial mascot for the team, The first mantis lasted less than a week after “debuting” in Kansas City’s dugout during an Aug. 6 win over the Blue Jays that snapped a three-game losing streak. Nonetheless, “Junior” has remained a powerful force for the Royals, who were 51-58 before either animal appeared, and have only progressed since then. With Sunday’s victory, Kansas City improved to 68-62 on the year, after going 17-4 since Aug. 6.
“The two walks inside the sixth inning to get things started for them, and as hot as they are, the momentum they’ve been able to create, it’s just a tough, tough sixth inning when you see them put eight runs on the board,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell.
Royals starter Yordano Ventura got knocked out in the fifth, after allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez helped Kansas City get momentum back on their side when he allowed the first three batters to reach in the sixth, two on walks. Right-hander Matt Barnes came on for Boston, and the Royals quickly chased him thanks to Mondesi’s blast to the gap in right-center field.
Mondesi, 21, momentarily believed he might have a grand slam.
“Wrong spot,” Mondesi said. “I got it in that little corner. But that’s OK, got three RBIs and helped the team.”
“We’re starting to get hot as a team,” Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer said, “and it’s a good time to get hot.”
David Ortiz smacked his 534th career homer in the fourth, a solo shot, thus tying Jimmie Foxx for 18th on the all-time list. Ortiz is just two homers from equaling Mickey Mantle. The Sox hit into four double plays in the first five innings.
Mondesi wasn’t the only Royals rookie who contributed to the victory, however. Left-hander Matt Strahm, 24, entered to bring Kansas City back up after Ventura’s shaky start. After Boston gained a 4-2 lead in the fifth, Strahm entered with one out and one on and Ortiz up. Strahm got Ortiz to roll into a 4-6-3 double play, and then pitched two more scoreless innings.
“[Strahm] really did a good job quieting it down,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “I brought him in because I didn’t want them to add on anymore, and he shut them down.”
Royals center fielder Paulo Orlando has been strong over the last month that the team has kept Lorenzo Cain in right field as Cain recovers from a pulled hamstring. Orlando had a team-high 66-game errorless streak before he flubbed a high ball to center by Sandy Leon that began a three-run Red Sox fifth.
“When we got the eight-run inning, I thought, ‘Oh, my God,'” Orlando said. “I was so happy for that. But the play, I was thinking about the runner on first and just took my eye off. I need to concentrate better.”
The Royals next open a six-game home-stand that begins with a three-game series against the Yankees on Monday night. Right-hander Dillon Gee (5-7, 4.55 ERA) takes the mound for Kansas City.
The Red Sox next begin a three-game home series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night. Right-hander Rick Porcello (17-3, 3.23 ERA) looks to become the first Red Sox pitcher in 70 years to open a season 13-0 at Fenway Park. He will face off against right-hander Matt Andriese (6-5, 3.71 ERA).