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Offense sputters, relievers can’t find plate in 2-1 loss to Boston

The Royals drop their fourth in a row.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Boston Red Sox Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Royals relievers walked four batters and allowed two runs in the eighth in a 2-1 loss to the Red Sox in Boston Friday night. The poor bullpen work ruined a good start by Jonathan Heasley, who fired goose eggs over 6 23 innings with just three walks and two hits allowed.

Kansas City batters couldn’t find much offense all night, managing just eight hits and one walk all night. Red Sox starter Michael Wacha held them in check most of the evening, shutting them out for the first five frames. He made his only mistake in the sixth, giving up a triple to MJ Melendez, followed by an RBI single by Salvador Perez, his 69th of the year.

Mike Matheny pulled Heasley after a two-out walk in the seventh, but Royals relievers would have trouble finding the plate on their own. Amir Garrett would walk the next hitter, but escape the jam by striking out Christian Arroyo. But the next inning he would walk Enrique Hernandez and former Royals outfielder Abraham Almonte to start the inning. After an out, Scott Barlow would come in and walk the bases loaded. Barlow was able to strike out the dangerous Xander Bogaerts and looked to get out of it, but instead he walked Alex Verdugo to force the tying run in. J.D. Martinez followed up with a single to give Boston a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.

Royals pitchers combined to walk eight hitters on the night, the ninth time they have done that this year, tops in baseball. The Royals lose their fourth in a row and fall to 57-88. They’ll face the Red Sox again tomorrow afternoon at 3:10 with Brady Singer scheduled to face Rich Hill.