Thanks to a glorious two-homer night from Jorge Soler, his 30th and 31st of the year, the Kansas City Royals offense hummed along nicely at Fenway Park while a solid Jake Junis outing held the Boston Red Sox offense at bay. The Royals won 6-2.
The game was quiet until the bottom of the third inning. Rafael Devers doubled to the Green Monster in left field. Two batters later, Andrew Benintendi singled to right field, scoring Devers. While Brock Holt delivered a two-out single of his own, Junis was able to coax a fly ball from Christian Vazquez to end the inning without further damage. It would be Junis’ only run allowed on the night. Junis pitched six innings, striking out four and walking only one.
Kansas City remained scoreless until the top of the fourth, and then began a three-inning scoring stretch that propelled them to eventual victory. After a Hunter Dozier walked, Soler hit his first home run of the game out of the stadium. Literally.
Not to be outdone, Ryan O’Hearn cracked his own home run the very next inning, a line drive shot that came off the bat at a stunning 111.1 MPH. However, Soler did end up with the last word. Whit Merrifield shot a clean single to lead off the sixth inning against Red Sox starter Andrew Cashner. Dozier singled sharply to right, a grounder that bounced off of Michael Chavis’ foot. Then, there was a mound visit.
It did not work. Soler homered, again, though somewhat less excitingly, if only because his first homer was so impressive.
The Red Sox tagged Richard Lovelady for another run in the eighth inning off consecutive doubles by J.D. Martinez and Christian Vazquez. However, that was all that occurred, as Lovelady struck out Mitch Moreland to escape the inning without additional harm. Ian Kennedy closed the game out in the ninth with a perfect inning.
At this point, you might be wondering how Soler compares to Moustakas’ record-breaking 2017 season, when he set Kansas City’s single season home run record at 38. Shaun has you covered here:
Jorge Soler vs Mike Moustakas home run tracker. Moustakas had 35 home runs by game 115 pic.twitter.com/4iKydeWFLS— Shaun Newkirk (@Shauncore) August 7, 2019
While Soler lags behind Moose, it took Moose over 50 games to hit three home runs thanks to a knee injury. Soler’s production has been extremely steady, however, and if it holds we’ll see Soler eclipse Moose’s mark with a few weeks to spare.
Kansas City will play the rubber match against Boston tomorrow at 6:10pm Central. Afterwards, they will travel to Detroit for a four-game set before a few series against National League teams at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals are 41-74.