BOSTON (AP) — After scratching out just six runs in a four-game losing streak, the Kansas City batters felt like they owed their pitchers a little more support.
Then they realized Brady Singer didn’t really need it.
Singer delivered his second straight scoreless outing, pitching out of a bases-loaded, nobody out jam to deliver six shutout innings on Saturday and help the Royals beat the Boston Red Sox 9-0.
“It was a nice showing from the offense, take a little stress off the pitchers because they’ve been picking us up and we haven’t really been doing anything for them,” said first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino, who had three hits and drove in three runs. “Brady doesn’t need any help, but it’s always nice when we give him something.”
Pitching in Fenway Park for the first time, Singer (9-4) won his fifth straight decision, allowing five singles and a walk while striking out five. The 26-year-old College World Series champion from Florida has not allowed a run in 13 innings over two starts, and he has not lost in eight starts since Aug. 3.
On a staff with six-time All-Star and 2009 Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke, Singer has developed into the No. 1 starter.
“The word ‘ace’ keeps coming out. We’re kind of waiting for one of our guys to take control of that,” manager Mike Matheny said. “We have a Hall of Famer with us in Zack, and he’s a guy that’s always going to lead the way. But to have somebody that’s going out on a consistent basis and giving us the kinds of starts, keeping us in games, at times even dominant. He’s just taking it to another level.”
MJ Melendez scored four runs and also had three hits for the Royals. The first four batters in the Kansas City lineup went 10 for 20 with eight RBIs.
Rich Hill (7-7) gave up four runs, eight hits and a balk, striking out four.
The Red Sox loaded the bases on two singles and a walk with nobody out in the third inning and the top of the order coming up. But Singer got Tommy Pham to pop up in front of the mound, Rafael Devers was called out on strikes, and J.D. Martinez popped out to first base.
“Not the situation I want to be in,” Singer said. “Tough inning there, but I got through it.”
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Red Sox right fielder Alex Verdugo lost a ball in the sun in the fifth inning when Pasquantino hit a liner directly at him. Verdugo stood helplessly until the ball bounced right in front of him and then off his right arm.
He picked it up and threw it in, but not before Bobby Witt Jr. had scored from first. The play originally was scored a single and an error, but then was changed to a double.
Center fielder Kiké Hernandez had more than the sun to contend with when he settled under Pasquantino’s high popup in the first inning. As Hernandez and Verdugo moved in to field the ball, a small flock of birds took off from where they were resting on the grass.
Hernandez managed to make the catch.
RHP Franklin German made his major league debut for Boston, coming in to start the sixth inning. It didn’t go well.
All four batters he faced reached -- on two singles and a pair of walks. He left with the bases loaded and one run in, and Eduard Bazardo allowed another run to score when Melendez grounded into a fielder’s choice. Witt and Pasquantino singled to score two more and give the Royals n 8-0 lead.
The series finale will see Boston RHP Nick Pivetta (9-11) face Kansas City’s Kris Bubic (2-11).
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