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While Boston certainly isn’t contending this season and has gone into rebuilding mode, they do have some time to try out some new pieces before 2013. Two new members of the team saw game action with Boston for the first time Sunday, as the Red Sox defeated the Royals 8-6. James Loney, acquired from the Dodgers in their blockbuster deal, started at first base for the Red Sox, while Pedro Beato, the player to be named acquired from the Mets for Kelly Shoppach, pitched in relief.
Boston struck first in the 1st inning, when Cody Ross singled in a run with two runners in scoring position. Unfortunately, Loney then grounded into a double play to end the inning in his first at bat with the Red Sox. Mike Aviles later doubled in Mauro Gomez from first in the 2nd inning to pad the lead.
After failing to take advantage of an error in the 3rd, Kansas City broke the floodgates open in the 4th. After two quick outs to lead off the inning, they hit three straight singles followed by a big three-run homer from Lorenzo Cain to quickly jump ahead 4-2.
In the 5th, Boston was finally able to respond, despite interference from the umpiring crew. Pedro Ciriaco got the rally going with a one-out homer over the Green Monster, and was followed by a single from Jacoby Ellsbury. That was followed by what should have been a single from Dustin Pedroia, but Pedroia was called out at first. The thing was that he very clearly beat out the throw, and Eric Hosmer’s foot had also come off the bag. Just about every non-Royal in Fenway was clearly displeased, and Bobby Valentine even got himself ejected yelling at the umpire for the incident. Even after that, the Sox still managed to draw a walk and single in the tying run before the inning finally ended.
Boston retook the lead in the 6th, when with two outs and runners on first and second, Ellsbury hit a sharp grounder to second, which was first deflected by Hosmer at first. Mauro Gomez scored from second on the play to put Boston up 5-4. They added two more runs in the 7th on a bases loaded error and single with two outs.
Kansas City wouldn’t go quietly, though, loading the bases with no outs in the 8th on two singles and a walk off of Beato, into his third inning of relief. The damage was greatly limited by great defense from Cody Ross, who lost a fly ball in the right field sun, but recovered just in time to make an amazing catch while splayed out on the ground, resulting in just a sac fly. The Royals did single home another run before the inning ended, but they still trailed Boston by a run at that point.
With the Royals closing in fast, and a depleted bullpen resulting from Saturday’s 12-inning loss, Pedroia (who had been pestered not only by the bad call at first but also by a questionable strike call earlier in the game), homered to left to give Boston an insurance run back.
From there, Boston’s bullpen situation led to Mark Melancon getting the save chance. Melancon, not always what you would call good this season, gave up just a one-out single to finish off the Orioles and give Boston a well-earned win.
With so many arms unavailable for one reason or another, and in a game in which starter Felix Doubront only went five innings, Beato ate up two innings, and nearly saved the rest of the bullpen even more work.
The terrible call in the 5th killed off plenty of momentum the Sox were building. If the call had been made correctly, the Sox could have easily put up enough offense to put the game out of reach and keep the Royals from sticking around.
W: Pedro Beato (1-0)
L: Will Smith (4-6)
S: Mark Melancon (1)
Tags: Alfredo Aceves, Andrew Bailey, Bobby Valentine, Cody Ross, Dustin Pedroia, Felix Doubront, Jacoby Ellsbury, James Loney, Kansas City Royals, Mark Melancon, mauro gomez, Mike Aviles, Pedro Beato, pedro ciriaco, Red Sox