Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas brought the muscle to Boston, each homering as Jason Vargas shut down the Red Sox for a 4-2 win, the ninth in a row for the Royals. The Royals improve to 54-47, and can pass the Red Sox tomorrow in the Wild Card standings.
Rick Porcello got the emergency start for the Red Sox after scheduled starter David Price went on the disabled list with an elbow injury earlier in the day. Porcello, who was originally scheduled to start Saturday, has never fared well against the Royals, with a 4.68 ERA against the Royals in 21 career starts. The Royals got to him early in the second when Salvador Perez crushed a ball over the Green Monster in left, reportedly landing in the parking lot across Lansdowne Street.
It was Salvy’s 21st home run, one shy of his career high, and it put the Royals in the lead 1-0. In the fourth, Jorge Bonifacio and Eric Hosmer each singled, but Porcello looked like he might wriggle out of the jam when he struck out Perez for the second out of the inning. Mike Moustakas worked a nine-pitch at-bat and slammed a laser into the right field seats for his 30th home run, becoming just the 12th player in Royals history to reach that mark in a season.
Congrats to Mike Moustakas for joining the Royals 30-HR club. pic.twitter.com/h8ZrZdjBwt— Royals Review (@royalsreview) July 29, 2017
That would be all the help Jason Vargas would need. He completed six innings of work for the first time in four starts, allowing just one run, an RBI single to Mookie Betts to drive home Red Sox rookie Rafael Devers. Mike Minor gave up a run in relief when Chris Young tripled and scored on a groundout by Sandy Leon. But Kelvin Herrera slammed the door shut with a scoreless ninth, his tenth scoreless outing in his last eleven appearances.
The Royals are now closer to the #2 seed in the American League than being out of the playoffs. They are a team on a roll, beating what everyone thought was a very good Red Sox club. Will they ever lose again? Probably, but with the way they’re playing, I’m not betting on it.