Series: Game 3 of 4

Boston leads 2-1 (as of 9/13)

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 1

(65-84, 34-40 away)

Royals 7

(81-67, 39-35 home)

    7:10 PM ET, September 13, 2014

    Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    BOS 001000000 1 4 1
    KC 20030002 - 7 12 1

    W: J. Guthrie (11-11)

    L: R. De La Rosa (4-7)

    Red Sox-Royals Preview

    If the Kansas City Royals don't make the postseason, they may lament their woes against the Boston Red Sox.

    The Royals have dropped out of first place and are 0-5 against the Red Sox heading into Saturday night's home matchup.

    Kansas City (80-66) took five of seven meetings from last year's Boston club which won the World Series.

    This last-place edition of the Red Sox (65-83), however, has been a thorn in the Royals' side, posting a 6-3 victory Thursday and 4-2 on Friday to begin this four-game set.

    Kansas City is one half-game behind Detroit and out of first place in the AL Central for the first time since Aug. 10. The Royals are tied for the AL's second wild card with Seattle.

    Manager Ned Yost's club has scored three or fewer runs six times during a 2-5 stretch in which his team has committed 10 errors -- four in this series.

    "I'm not sensing any tightness but obviously we're not swinging the bats well," Yost said. "And we're not playing our characteristically spectacular defense but I don't sense tightness."

    Yost said he had a 45-minute meeting with his coaches Friday to discuss the offensive woes. Alex Gordon is hitless in 20 at-bats, Billy Butler has one hit in his last 27 and Salvador Perez is in a 3-for-29 slump in his last seven games and no walks in his last 26.

    "We might switch it up some tomorrow," Yost said. "You really want to try and stay away from it and let itself work itself out but we're kind of running out of time for it to work itself out."

    Friday's defeat was more disappointing because Boston played without injured sluggers David Ortiz and Mike Napoli. Ortiz has a bruised right foot while Napoli is out with a sore toe and dislocated finger.

    It's unclear is either will return Saturday, although both have incentive since they have fared well against Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie. Ortiz is a .317 hitter off Guthrie with three homers in 41 at-bats while Napoli is 6 for 19 with two homers.

    Guthrie (10-11, 4.54 ERA) is 3-9 with a 5.14 ERA in 20 career starts against Boston. His teams have won five of his last six outings versus the Red Sox despite his 5.61 ERA in those games.

    Left-handed hitters are batting .305 against Guthrie. That's something he has in common with Boston starter Rubby De La Rosa, allowing lefties to bat .303.

    De La Rosa (4-6, 4.01) is 0-2 with a 6.20 ERA in five outings since beating the Los Angeles Angels on Aug. 10. He has failed to last through the fifth inning three times in his winless run, pitching four scoreless innings before he allowed all three batters he faced in the fifth to score in Sunday's 3-1 home defeat to Toronto.

    The right-hander won his lone career start against Kansas City as he matched a career high with seven innings and gave up one run in a 2-1 home victory July 19.

    Boston rookie Mookie Betts is 4 for 9 in this series and hitting .358 in his last 13 games.

    "They're in the hunt," Betts said. "Since we're not in it, we might as well put everybody else out of it that we can, but mostly we're just having fun playing the game."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

     BostonKansas City
    Current StreakL1W1
    Last 105-56-4

    Pitching Matchup

    BostonKansas City
    R. De La Rosa
    4-8, 4.43 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/27 at BOS
    1.2 IP, 0 ER
    Dec = ND
    J. Guthrie
    13-11, 4.13 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/26 at CHW
    7.0 IP, 0 ER
    Dec = Win

    Gameday Lineups

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

    Research Notes

    Jeremy Guthrie (KC): 8 IP, 1 R (0 ER); 1st Royals pitcher with 8 IP & 0 ER vs Red Sox since Tim Belcher on May 13, 1997. 1st to allow 0 ER but 1 R in 8+ IP since Paul Splittorff on July 16, 1976.

    ESPN Stats & Information