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Red Sox finish a Royal flush

Field Level Media
July 08. 2018 10:12PM
Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts scores before the tag from Kansas City Royals catcher Drew Butera on a sacrifice fly by Steve Pearce in the third inning during Sunday's game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS)

Rick Porcello struck out nine over seven innings of three-run ball, Xander Bogaerts, Mitch Moreland and Eduardo Nunez each had two RBIs and the visiting Boston Red Sox capped a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals with a 7-4 win Sunday.

Steve Pearce added an RBI for the Red Sox, who have won six straight games. Porcello (11-3) allowed nine hits and walked one as Boston maintained its two-game lead over the New York Yankees atop the AL East.

Jorge Bonifacio had two RBIs, and Adalberto Mondesi and Whit Merrifield (5-for-5) each drove in another for Kansas City, which matched its longest losing streak this year at nine games. It’s the third time the Royals have lost nine in a row this season.

Heath Fillmyer (0-1) allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits and three walks over 4 1/3 innings in his first MLB start. Fillmyer made a surprise spot start in place of Jakob Junis, who landed on the disabled list with lower back inflammation.

Boston slugger J.D. Martinez did not play after fouling pitches off his left calf and right foot in Saturday’s 15-4 win. Kansas City gave shortstop Alcides Escobar a day off Sunday, ending his major league-leading active streak of 421 consecutive games played.

Pearce’s sacrifice fly in the third inning put Boston on the board. Kansas City answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame on Bonifacio’s two-run double. Nunez tied the game with an RBI single in the fourth.

Mondesi restored the Royals’ lead at 3-2 with his fourth-inning RBI single. Boston went ahead for good at 4-3 in the fifth on Bogaerts’ sacrifice fly. Moreland worked a bases-loaded walk before that to tie it, and then added an RBI single in the seventh.

Bogaerts added and RBI double and Nunez an RBI single to cap Boston’s three-run seventh. Merrifield’s RBI single with one out in the ninth forced the Red Sox to turn to closer Craig Kimbrel, who recorded the final two outs for his 27th save.

Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (10-3, 3.84 ERA) starts today’s opener of a three-game series against visiting Texas.

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The Sox placed catcher Christian Vazquez and left-hander Brian Johnson on the 10-day disabled list on Sunday amid a slew of roster moves.

Vazquez is sidelined by a fractured finger, while Johnson is suffering from left hip inflammation. Johnson’s move is retroactive to Thursday.

The Red Sox also added two right-handers from Triple-A Pawtucket — William Cuevas and Ryan Brasier.

Boston also shifted right-hander Austin Maddox to the 60-day DL to make room for Brasier on the 40-man roster.

Vazquez has played in 60 games this season with 55 starts (including one as designated hitter). He is hitting .213 with 14 RBIs. Johnson is 1-2 with a 4.23 ERA in 24 appearances (three starts) this season.

Cuevas has played just one game for Boston this season — on July 3 — and hasn’t pitched since. He gave up one run on two hits in two innings of work in that game, an 11-3 win over the Washington Nationals.

Brasier has been strong for Pawtucket this season, posting a 1.34 ERA in 34 games. He’s held opposing batters to a .215 batting average and converted 13 of his 14 closing opportunities.

Brasier, 30, played seven games with the Los Angeles Angels in 2013 in his only previous MLB stint.

Red Sox/MLB