The Red Sox were looking to continue their perfect record against the Kansas City Royals tonight. Allen Webster was looking for a good start. Many of the Red Sox regulars took the night off against Royals fireballing righty Yordano Ventura. This night, however, would belong to Webster and the Red Sox bullpen.
Jemile Weeks started the first Red Sox rally of the night, pulling a double down the right field line with one out in the top of the third inning. Mookie Betts quickly drove him in with a sharp single to right field. With two outs, Daniel Nava was hit with a pitch, sending Betts to second base. Yoenis Cespedes hit a slow chopper toward third base which began the Royals’ sloppiness for the night. Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas rushed the throw to get the speedy Cespedes, airmailing the throw to first allowing Betts to score. A wild pitch by Ventura allowed Nava to score the third run.
The Royals rallied in the bottom of the fourth. The slumping Alex Gordon managed to draw a walk off Webster to lead off the inning. After one out, Eric Hosmer hooked a 2-0 pitch down the right field line that dropped into the first row of seats a few feet fair, to cut the lead to 3-2. After Webster was able to work out of a two out jam, this would be the Royals’ last offense of the night
Weeks once again started a rally against Ventura, flaring a double down the left field line to start the fifth inning. Betts was the recipient of Ventura’s second HBP of the night on a 98 mph fastball, which matched Ventura’s total for the entire season coming in. Nava drove Weeks in with a hard grounder under shortstop Alcides Escobar‘s glove to make it 4-2. With two outs, a baserunning mistake by Betts ended the inning. Cespedes took off for second causing Betts to stray off third where he was easily tagged out. Young players are exciting but they still are prone to rookie mistakes like this one.
Allen Webster had an excellent night. The homer to Hosmer was one of the few mistakes he made all night. Manager John Farrell may have wanted to get him out on a good note. Webster was only at 83 pitches when he was removed after back-to-back perfect innings. Four of his six innings tonight were 1-2-3. Webster walked only one batter, allowing only four hits, while striking out two.
Tommy Layne and Burke Badenhop combined to throw a scoreless seventh inning. Koji Uehara made his first appearance in eight days in the eighth, recording his first 1-2-3 inning since August 15, striking out one batter. Edward Mujica closed out the game with a perfect ninth inning, which saved the game for Webster. The bullpen threw a perfect three innings which, combined with Webster, set down the last 16 Royals batters.