56-38: Royals come back to take the series

The Kansas City Royals came in to town and took two of three games from Boston at Fenway Park. They wrapped it up last night with a 6-5 victory over Julian Tavarez (5-8).

Tavarez was pretty awful last night, giving up six runs (four earned) in 4 2/3 innings of work. This marks the third consecutive start in which he’s failed to last five innings. He’s given up 28 hits and 18 runs in those starts. I think his run as a starter is over, especially in light of what Jon Lester is doing at Pawtucket. Lester has had a couple of hiccups recently, but he’s throwing very well for the most part. He’ll definitely provide way more than what we’re getting from Tavarez right now.

Mike Timlin provided another 2 1/3 of scoreless relief,  running his scoreless streak to 13 2/3 innings. That’s a very, very good sign for the Sox, as we will need him down the stretch. Manny Delcarmen and Jonathan Papelbon finished out the game, but the offense just could not pull off a comeback.

After KC scored two in the fourth on a sac fly by Ross Gload and an RBI single by phenom Alex Gordon, Boston loaded the bases with no outs and rallied to score four in the bottom of the inning. Julio Lugo provided a key 2-RBI double off starter Odalis Perez (5-8).

Just when the game seemed to be in hand, Tavarez came out and gave up some hard-hit doubles and singles to the Royals. An error by Mike Lowell turned out to be costly for the Sox, putting the Royals up, 6-4.

Boston couldn’t get anything started again, despite a solo shot by Manny Ramirez in the fifth. Mark Grudzielanek managed to slide and snare a ground ball by Kevin Youkilis in the seventh to kill a rally. Despite a two-out Coco Crisp triple in the eighth, they couldn’t pull this one out. In all, 13 men were left on base in this one.

The Yankees won again last night (that’s 5 straight), and are making a second push. They have now closed to within seven games of the Red Sox. I’d be surprised if they could get closer than about 5 games, but with the pressure mounting, expect the front office to do some shuffling with the rotation. I fully expect Tavarez to be out by the next start.


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