BOSTON (AP) — Tight games aren’t going the Kansas City Royals’ way this season.
Rubby De La Rosa pitched seven solid innings and Mike Napoli hit a tiebreaking homer, lifting the Boston Red Sox to a 2-1 victory over Royals on Saturday night.
Kansas City lost for the eighth time in 11 games, falling to 10-20 in one-run games after leading the AL with 31 victories last season.
“Tonight we couldn’t get anything going offensively. We just couldn’t,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “De La Rosa mixed in a really good 94, 95 mph fastball and a nice change that we just couldn’t do anything with.”
Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer extended his career-best hitting streak to 15 games with a single, but Napoli’s homer that cleared a billboard atop the Green Monster seats and completely left the park in the sixth sent the Royals to another loss.
“It might have caught a little too much of the plate and he was ready for it, to say the least,” starter Danny Duffy said. “That was really the only mistake that I felt like I made tonight, but it was a huge one and it was costly. You got to be better than that.”
Duffy (5-10) allowed two runs – one earned – on six hits in 6 2-3 innings. It was his fifth loss in six starts, but he’s allowed two or fewer runs in four of the losses.
It was the sixth win in seven games for the defending World Series champions, who are looking to climb from the AL East’s basement.
De La Rosa (3-2) had another strong start in Fenway Park, giving up one run on five hits, walking four and striking out two. He worked out of trouble most of his outing.
Andrew Miller pitched a perfect eighth and All-Star Koji Uehara a 1-2-3 ninth for his 20th save in 22 chances.
In two of his three home starts, De La Rosa pitched seven shutout innings. In his last one, he gave up three runs in five innings.
De La Rosa stranded runners at second base in four of the first six innings, twice also leaving a runner on first.
The Royals grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third when Jarrod Dyson tripled and scored on shortstop Omar Infante’s sacrifice fly.
Infante’s fielding error allowed Boston’s tying run in the fourth. With runners on first and second, Infante had Shane Victorino’s probable inning-ending, double-play grounder go right through his legs, scoring Napoli.
Boston left fielder Jonny Gomes bumped into shortstop Brock Holt, dropping a ball for a two-base error in the fourth, and called off Holt, but had the ball fall in front of him for a double in the fifth.