The Red Sox needed Daniel Bard in the eighth inning Tuesday night.



Billy Butler hit a 1-1, 94 mph fastball from Matt Albers well over the left-field wall for a three-run homer in the eighth inning, giving Kansas City a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. The end result was a 6-4 win for the Royals over the Red Sox in Kansas City.

Butler was the first batter of the night for Albers, who came on for starter Daniel Bard after he walked the first two batters in the home half of the eighth. Bard left the game having allowed just three second-inning runs, and departed with a one-run lead.

Will Middlebrooks left Tuesday night's game against the Royals in the second inning with left hamstring tightness. The Red Sox third baseman was replaced by Nick Punto.

"It's nothing serious," Middlebrooks told reporters after the Red Sox' 6-4 loss to the Royals. "It's not a big deal, it was just a precautionary thing coming out of the game, so hopefully I'll be back in there [Wednesday]. It was just a type of cramping, tightness in the hamstring, so we really didn't want to mess with it. Wanted to be safe."

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said that while nothing is imminent, the idea of playing third baseman Will Middlebrooks in the outfield has been "tossed around in some quarters."

Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross was a guest of the Mut & Merloni Show on Tuesday. Ross -- batting .257 with five home runs and 21 RBI in his first season with the Sox -- was asked about Will Middlebrooks. The third baseman slugged a pair of home runs in Monday's win over the Royals and is hitting .381 with an OPS of 1.361 in 21 at-bats since being promoted from Triple-A Pawtucket on May 2.

The Rushmore of Red Sox second baseman has two faces on it.



The Red Sox will use the same lineup Tuesday that helped them defeat the Royals Monday night as Boston faces Kansas City lefty Danny Duffy in the second game of their three-game series. Duffy is 2-2 this season with a 3.57 earned run average and 26 strikeouts. He allowed two runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings last Thursday against the Yankees. 

1. Mike Aviles, SS

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

3. David Ortiz, DH

4. Cody Ross, RF

5. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B

6. Will Middlebrooks, 3B

7. Darnell McDonald, LF

8. Marlon Byrd, CF

Will Middlebrooks clobbered two homers, finishing with five RBIs, while helping lead the Red Sox to an 11-5 win over the Royals in Kansas City. It marked just the sixth time in major league history a player has at least one RBI in each of his first four games. The third baseman also becomes the first player in Red Sox history to claim at least one extra-base hit in four straight games to start his big league career.

Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, making his first appearance in Triple-A Pawtucket on his rehab assignment while working his way back from Tommy John surgery last June, tossed 4 2/3 scoreless innings while allowing two hits (a single and double) and three walks while striking out four. Left-handed hitters were 0-for-9 against him. Matsuzaka required 87 pitches and threw 49 (56.3 percent) for strikes.

Adrian Gonzalez has a $154 million contract, second-largest in Red Sox history. He's making $21 million this season, eighth-highest in baseball (Carl Crawford - at $20.3 million - is 11th). 



KIRK MINIHANE

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