Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Game 113: Boston @ Kansas City

Game Date: August 4, 2008
Royals 4, Red Sox 3 / Box Score
WP: Meche (10-9), LP: Buchholz (2-7), SV: Soria (32) 
Royal Home Runs: Gordon (13)
Royals Record: 53-60

With the win last night, the Royals have won seven of their last eight games. Since the All-Star break, they are 10-7. And they are currently on pace to win 76 games. I don't think any of us would complain if they won that many games this year.

Gil Meche won his fourth game in a row last night and is now 7-1 with a 2.66 ERA in his last 11 starts. He lowered his ERA to 4.17 for the season and he's settled into being that solid constant in the rotation that Dayton Moore hoped for when he gave him all that money. He didn't have good command last night. In fact, he walked five guys, but he also struck out nine. Trey Hillman called him "effectively wild." He couldn't get his pitches down, but it didn't matter because the Red Sox kept swinging at pitches at shoulder level.

The Red Sox struck first with two runs in the first. Alex Gordon answered with a solo home run down the right field line in the second. Mark Teahen singled in a run in the third. Billy Butler got a run home with a sacrifice fly to right during the same inning. And John Buck was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to drive in the third run of the inning.

There were plenty of tense moments late in the game. With the Royals up 4-2 in the eighth inning, Ron Mahay came in to face Jason Varitek with two outs and runners at the corners. Mahay struck him out to preserve the lead. Then in the ninth the Red Sox scored a run and then loaded the bases against Joakim Soria with two outs and Sean Casey at the plate. Soria got him to fly out to right to end the game.

One of the odd things about the last few games the Royals have won is that they are doing it without David DeJesus and Mark Grudzielanek. Mitch Maier is more than holding his own in centerfield (and he's currently hitting .310) and Esteban German is playing well at second base. Of course, having Mike Aviles play so well that he was named AL co-player of the week (he hit .577 with 7 R, 2 HR, and 5 RBI) hasn't hurt matters either.

Tonight, Brian Bannister (7-9, 5.33) will go up against Josh Beckett (9-8, 4.15). Bannister is 0-2 in his career against the Red Sox with an 8.74 ERA in 11.1 IP. Beckett is 2-0 with a 2.33 ERA against the Royals in 27.0 IP.

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