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Royals wrap up lousy weekend with 8-4 loss to Red Sox

The Royals are now 1 1/2 games behind the Tigers. Panic is starting to creep.

The Kansas City Royals ruined an otherwise pleasant Sunday with some uninspiring baseball, losing 8-4 to the Boston Red Sox at Kauffman Stadium.

The game actually started well for the Royals. Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez led off the second inning with back-to-back singles, bringing Eric Hosmer to the plate against Joe Kelly. The starter fell behind 2-0 to Hosmer, then grooved the first baseman a fastball over the heart of the plate. Hosmer crushed the pitch, sending the ball over the center field wall for a three-run jack.

Hosmer's homer didn't kill the rally. Omar Infante and Mike Moustakas followed with singles, then Jarrod Dyson plated Infante with a groudball to second base. Through two innings, the Royals found themselves in a good situation; they had a 4-0 lead over a bad baseball team, with one of their more dependable starters on the mound.

Unfortunately, the next seven innings didn't go as well for the home team. Boston carved into the Royals lead in the top half of the third. David Ross worked a one-out wallk, then Mookie Betts blooped a two-out single, putting two own for Xander Bogaerts.

Vargas threw Bogaerts an 0-1 changeup, which he crushed into the left field bullpen for a three-run dong of his own. The changeup was not a terrible pitch; it was low in the strike zone, but didn't have a lot of break and it was over the center of the plate.

The southpaw had no problems in the fourth and fifth innings, but ran into more trouble in the sixth. Betts and Bogaerts led off the inning with back-to-back singles, putting two runners on for David Ortiz. Vargas retired Ortiz on a flyout, but was then removed by Ned Yost for Aaron Crow.

As pretty much anyone who's watched/followed the Royals this year (except for Yost, I guess) could tell you, Crow is not the pitcher you want to bring in a high leverage situation with runners on. Crow pitched cautiously to Yoenis Cespedes, eventually walking him to load the bases. He nearly walked Allen Craig, but managed to strikeout the slumping first baseman with a 3-2 fastball.

That brought Daniel Nava to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. Crow left a fastball belt high and over the inside of the plate, and Nava demolished the pitch, connecting on a back-breaking grand slam and giving Boston a 7-4 advantage. In related news, I still can't get my TV remote to work and probably need to buy some putty for my living room wall.

Kelly, meanwhile settled down after the second inning. He ended up tossing six innings allowing four runs on five hits, striking out three while walking two. Vargas recorded eight punchouts over 5 1/3 innings, but gave up five runs on four hits.

Boston scored another run in the seventh inning against Louis Coleman. Kansas City, on the other hand, put two runners in scoring position in the eighth inning and loaded the bases in the ninth, but could not scrape another run across the board.

The Detroit Tigers beat the Racists of Cleveland, so the Royals are now 1 1/2 games behind the Tigers in the AL Central. The team will attempt to recover on Monday when they welcome the Chicago White Sox into the K for a three-game set. James Shields will start for KC, facing off against John Danks. It would be nice to start winning baseball games again.