Sandy Leon avoided a tag at the plate from Drew Butera in the bottom of the tenth to give the Red Sox a 9-8 win, snapping a nine-game winning streak for the Royals. It was an excruciatingly long game filled with errors, walks, sloppy play, and poor baserunning that took over four hours to complete.
The Royals looked like they would break things open early off Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez, but they stranded five runners in the first two innings. The Red Sox took advantage, scoring a run in the bottom of the second on an RBI triple by Christian Vazquez, although it could have been a two-run score had Xander Bogaerts not been thrown out trying to inexplicably advance to second base on a fly ball earlier in the inning.
Trevor Cahill left a pitch up that Eduardo Nunez popped over the Green Monster in left for a solo home run to make it 2-0 Red Sox in the third. The Royals would get those runs back and more in the fourth. Brandon Moss and Alex Gordon singled, and Whit Merrifield drove Moss home to make it 2-1. Then Lorenzo Cain poked a ball down the right field line that had a 2% chance of being a hit, according to Statcast, but in Fenway Park it snuck just inside the “Pesky Pole” for a huge three-run home run to make it 4-2 Royals.
But Cahill could not hold onto the lead for long. Again, it was Vazquez who did the damage with a gapper that Jorge Bonifacio let up on, allowing it to fall for a double to drive home a run. And again, it could have been a two-run score had Bogaerts not been thrown out on the bases just before that trying to advance on a wild pitch, only to be gunned down by Salvador Perez. Rookie Rafael Devers followed up with an RBI single to tie the game.
Bogaerts atoned for his earlier baserunning miscues with an RBI single in the sixth, and when Mike Moustakas booted a Mitch Moreland groundball, another run scored to make it 6-4 Red Sox. The Royals battled back, however, as Whit Merrifield reached on an infield single, his fourth hit of…