August 26, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles (3) reacts during the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE
I fell asleep late in the game this afternoon. It was sometime around the sixth inning. After Alcides Escobar's first error but before his second error. While aslumber, I drifted in and out of consciousness. I would come back to only to find that the Royals had ceded more runs. Then I'd start to find that the Royals had closed the gap a bit.
At one point, Lorenzo Cain lost a ball in the sky and had it land two feet from him in shallow center field as he looked frantically around for the diving ball. It was a classic Royals play, recalling images of Michael Tucker, Chip Ambres, and Ken Harvey. It also may not have happened. Whether it did or did not happen really isn't that important, unless of course you actually want to know what happened in this game. What this really means amidst the two Alcides Escobar errors on routine grounders and a Tony Abreu hesitation and ensuing lackadaisical sidearmed throw on a grounder that led to a run scoring as the second out of the seventh was not recorded on a routine play is this: these Royals are really not far removed from the nightmarish Royals of yore. If that Lorenzo Cain play did happen, then that's horrifying. If it didn't, it means that the abysmal play of the Royals has permeated my subconscious and haunts me in my dreams.
The Royals held a 4 -2 lead briefly from the top of the fourth until the bottom of the fifth when Will Smith yielded two runs on a Pedro Ciriaco solo shot and a James Loney RBI single. He was also bailed out in that inning by a blown call at first as Dustin Pedroia beat out a throw on what should have been an infield single, especially given the fact that not only was the throw not in time, but Eric Hosmer pulled his foot off the bag to catch it. Bobby Valentine was tossed for being correct, and Smith got out of the inning one out sooner than he should have.
Having yielded the tying runs in the inning before, Smith was allowed to pitch to two Red Sox in the bottom of the sixth, letting them both reach (Mauro Gomez reaching first on an Escobar error), and having one of them come around to score by way of a Jacoby Ellsbury single. The run was unearned but the lead was Boston's. Boston would add three runs from that point, thanks in large part to the defense of the Royals, and the two Royals runs that would cross the plate in the top of the eighth on a Hosmer sac fly and a Tony Abreu RBI single would prove to be an insufficient counter-attack and the Royals would ultimately waste Lorenzo Cain's Monster three-run dong-hanging in the fourth.