Series: Game 2 of 4

Boston leads 2-0 (as of 9/12)

Game 1: Thursday, September 11
Kansas City3
Game 2: Friday, September 12
Kansas City2
Game 3: Saturday, September 13
Kansas City7
Game 4: Sunday, September 14
Kansas City4

Red Sox 4

(65-83, 34-39 away)

Royals 2

(80-67, 38-35 home)

    8:10 PM ET, September 12, 2014

    Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    BOS 003010000 4 8 0
    KC 000200000 2 4 1

    W: A. Webster (4-3)

    L: Y. Ventura (12-10)

    S: E. Mujica (6)

    Red Sox-Royals Preview


    If Yordano Ventura is to have a chance at winning his fourth straight start and help the Kansas City Royals end their season struggles versus Boston, he'll need to pitch much better than he did in his only other appearance against the Red Sox.

    Hoping to continue his recent success at home, the rookie right-hander tries to help the Royals avoid going 0-5 against the lowly Red Sox on Friday night.

    Boston (64-83) took advantage of three Kansas City errors to snap a four-game skid with a 6-3 victory Thursday.

    "Any time you give a club an extra out, you're walking a tightrope, and that was the case (Thursday)," Boston manager John Farrell said.

    Losers in four of six, the Royals' AL Central lead over idle Detroit was cut to a slim one-half game.

    Kansas City (80-65) has been outscored 19-8 and committed six errors in their four losses to the Red Sox.

    "That's baseball," said Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar, who committed one of the miscues Thursday. "That happens."

    The Royals set out to tighten their defense behind Ventura (12-9, 3.25 ERA), who yielded career highs of six runs and nine hits, and walked four over 4 1/3 innings of a 6-0 loss at Boston on July 20.

    Since then, the rookie is 5-1 with a 2.50 ERA in eight starts.

    He allowed three hits and overcame four walks in six innings of a 2-0 win at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.

    "The biggest thing was to continue to try and come back in the count and make good pitches after the walks," Ventura, who has yielded three earned runs over 18 1/3 innings of his last three outings, told MLB's official website.

    Ventura has certainly felt more comfortable Kauffman Stadium, where he's 4-2 with a 2.72 ERA over his last eight starts after going 0-4 with a 4.50 ERA in his first six.

    David Ortiz went 0 for 3 against Ventura at Fenway Park in July, but had two hits with an RBI on Thursday.

    Teammate Mookie Betts also added two hits and is batting .347 in his last 12 contests.

    Boston's Allen Webster (3-3, 6.47) went 3-1 with a 4.73 ERA in his first five starts after making his season debut July 27, but is 0-2 with a 9.88 ERA in his last three. The right-hander allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings of a 9-8, 10-inning victory over Toronto last Friday.

    In his only previous outing versus Kansas City that came last season, Webster gave up three runs and two homers in six innings of a 5-4, 10-inning home defeat.

    Alex Gordon went 2 for 3 with a double and a home run against Webster in that contest, but he's 0 for 15 with six walks and eight strikeouts in the last five games.

    The Royals appear ready to welcome back All-Star closer Greg Holland, who hasn't pitched since Sept. 3 because of tightness in his right arm. Holland has a 1.60 ERA while recording 42 saves in 44 chances.

    "If he feels fine, he'll be OK," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

     BostonKansas City
    Current StreakL1W1
    Last 105-56-4

    Pitching Matchup

    BostonKansas City
    A. Webster
    5-3, 5.03 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/25 at BOS
    7.0 IP, 1 ER
    Dec = Win
    Y. Ventura
    14-10, 3.20 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/28 at CHW
    4.0 IP, 4 ER
    Dec = ND

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.BostonKansas City
    1. M. Betts, RF N. Aoki, RF
    2. X. Bogaerts, SS O. Infante, 2B
    3. D. Nava, DH A. Gordon, LF
    4. Y. Cespedes, LF B. Butler, DH
    5. A. Craig, 1B E. Hosmer, 1B
    6. W. Middlebrooks, 3B S. Perez, C
    7. J. Bradley Jr., CF M. Moustakas, 3B
    8. C. Vazquez, C L. Cain, CF
    9. J. Weeks, 2B A. Escobar, SS

    Research Notes

    Yordano Ventura is throwing his fastball 67.1 percent of the time (the eighth-highest rate in MLB) with an MLB-high 96.8 mph average velocity. The Red Sox are hitting .215 in at-bats to end with a fastball 94 mph or faster, the second-worst rate in MLB.

    ESPN Stats & Information