It was the major league debut of rookie righthander Allen Webster in game 2 of Sunday’s day-night doubleheader. Webster was good but the Red Sox were a little off, beaten in the nightcap 5-4 in ten innings as the Kansas City Royals swept Sunday’s slate and handed Boston only their second series loss of the young season.
Webster, acquired at the trade deadline last year in the huge deal with the Dodgers showed a lot of poise in his debut and really looks like he will be a major piece to the Red Sox near future puzzle.
His night got off to an eventful start as Alex Gordon hit Webster’s first major league pitch for a double off the Green Monster. That was followed by an airmailed throw to first by Pedro Ciriaco on an Alcides Escobar infield grounder, allowing Gordon to score.
But Webster minimized the damage by striking out two in the inning and then getting a spectacular diving stab on a grounder up the middle from Dustin Pedroia.
He then proceeded to settle down with a 1-2-3 second inning and went on to pitch well with a line of 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K and 84 pitches. Despite allowing fifth inning home runs to George Kottaras and Gordon, Webster mixed his pitches well with a fastball around 94-95 to go along with a very good change-up and curve ball.
Offensively, Mike Napoli homered to lead off the second followed by Mike Carp, who is making the most of his limited playing time, hitting a towering double off the Monster that scored Jarrod Saltalamacchia all the way from first to give the Sox a 2-1 lead off Jeremy Guthrie.
After a squander by the Sox in the ninth in which Jacoby Ellsbury was stranded after singling with one out and stealing second, lefty Andrew Miller proceeded to walk Sox killer Lorenzo Cain with the bases loaded to put the Royals ahead for good. The Sox went quietly in the tenth vs Greg Holland.
Losing two games in one day after the emotion of Saturday’s win is disappointing but the bottom line is Webster’s performance was the story of this game. If this is the kind of work Webster can give the Sox in his debut, the sky looks to be the limit for his future.