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.
The Sox starter finished his outing throwing 96 pitches (having tossed 86 after seven), while striking out just one. Bard induced 15 ground ball outs, with just one out coming on a fly ball.
The visitors had carried a one-run lead into the eighth after getting Royals starter Danny Duffy out of the game after just 4 1/3 innings. Duffy threw 102 pitches while allowing seven hits and five walks. Once again helping key the Red Sox offense was Dustin Pedroia, who pushed home his team's second run on a bases-loaded walk and knocked in a run via a fourth-inning single.
The Sox' go-ahead run came in the fifth when Adrian Gonzalez (2-for-3) scored after Royals second baseman Chris Getz threw away a potential inning-ending 6-4-3 double play on a Ryan Sweeney grounder.
Another bit of bad news for the Red Sox came when Will Middlebrooks was forced from the game in the second inning after experiencing left hamstring tightness. Middlebrooks doubled in his only at-bat of the night, making him one of two players in major league history to claim at least one extra-base hit in each of his first five major league games. The only other player to accomplish the feat was Cardinals outfielder Enos Slaughter, who went on his rookie run in 1938.
For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox .