To put it mildly, the Royals have played poor baseball over the past week. Losers in eight of their last nine and six in a row heading into Monday night, Kansas City headed to the east coast to take on a Boston team that was in the midst of an eight-game losing skid themselves. Staying within striking distance for the majority of the evening, Boston eventually bested the Royals in the series opener, 7-5.
Coming of an outing in which he was knocked for four runs in 4 1⁄3 innings, Mike Montgomery looked to find footing against a team that featured tons of success prior to tonight. Posting a 12.27 ERA in 7 1⁄3 innings against the Red Sox, the 30-year-old lefty would have his work cut out for him in a hitter’s ballpark. In the bottom of the first, he managed to get some help from his defense to prevent a run. After striking out the first two hitters, Montgomery walked Xander Bogaerts and followed up by allowing a ringing double to the gap in left-center field. Playing it nicely off the wall, Bubba Starling fired a strike to Nicky Lopez, who gunned it to home to cut down Bogaerts by a few feet.
Failing to muster up anything offensively, the left-hander went back to work with little room for error. Despite just five strikeouts in his first three starts with the Royals, the home half of the second witnessed Montgomery strike out the side, giving him five in the first six outs he recorded. Unfortunately, he would run into some trouble in the next frame.
After Kansas City tossed up a zero on the board for the 12th consecutive inning, Boston finally begun connecting off Montgomery. A lead-off walk and a single put runners at first and third with nobody out. Inducing a grounder to short for a double play chance, Lopez booted the ball, allowing the first run of the game to score. Still nobody out, the lefty struggled through the rest of the frame. Surrendering a two-run shot off the bat of Sam Travis, Montgomery finished the third with three runs on his line but just one being earned. Two innings later, Rafael Devers provided a solo shot of his own, making it 4-0.
In the top of the sixth, the 14-inning scoreless drought was finally snapped. Sending one high over the Green Monster and off the light pole, Cheslor Cuthbert put Kansas City in the scoring column for the first time since Saturday. Meibrys Viloria followed suit in the seventh with his first major league home run off Nathan Eovaldi to the opposite field.
Trimming the score to 4-2, the Royals’ brought on Tim Hill to remain within striking distance. However, a walk and a single to kick things off and Ned Yost went back to his bullpen to call on Scott Barlow. For Barlow, things weren’t much better. A wild pitch brought home Boston’s fifth run and a two-run-double from Andrew Benintendi extended the lead to 7-2. Seemingly out of reach from the looks of it, Kansas City tightened things back up in the eighth. With two outs and two runners on, Bubba Starling drilled a three-run blast into the first row of seats on The Monster. Previously on a 3-28 stretch, Starling’s bomb unfortunately came one inning too late.
Following a scoreless frame from Josh Staumont, the Royals managed to bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth. However, Hunter Dozier was wrung up on a pitch six inches high of the strike zone. Dropping the seventh game in a row and number 74 overall, Kansas City will look to end their dreadful streak tomorrow night. Jakob Junis will face off against Andrew Cashner. First pitch is set for 6:10 CT