for this game

Wakefield, Ellsbury help Red Sox KO Royals

Aug 7, 2008 - 4:48 AM By Alan Eskew PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- Trey Hillman throws a knuckleball, so in preparation for Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield, the Kansas City Royals' manager threw batting practice to his team before Wednesday's game.

It did not work, however, as Wakefield limited the Royals to four singles in six innings and Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits, including hit a three-run homer, as the Red Sox won, 8-2, to take two of three at Kauffman Stadium.

"It's happened before," Wakefield said of teams having someone throw a knuckleball in batting practice on the day he pitches. "When I was facing the Braves in '92, Bruce Del Canton came in threw knuckleballs to them in batting practice."

Wakefield's knuckleball must have been better than Hillman's.

"Yeah, I would hope so," Wakefield said.

The Red Sox runs scored all their runs with two out.

Wakefield (7-8), who was 1-3 in his previous six starts, gave up two runs - one earned - after a passed ball in the fifth inning. He retired 10 in a row after Mark Teahen's two-out single.

The Red Sox had scored four or less runs in eight of Wakefield's previous nine starts while he was on the mound.

"I was very fortunate to get the run support I did tonight," he said. "I felt great from the time I warmed up today that I had good movement and good command. It was just a matter of continuing doing what I've been doing."

Ellsbury, who had his second straight multi-hit game, homered in the seventh off lefthander Ron Mahay to give the Red Sox a six-run advantage and put the game out of reach. It was Ellsbury's first home run off a lefthander.

Royals rookie starter Luke Hochevar (6-10), who was the first overall pick in the 2006 draft, continued to have problems with two out. Opponents are hitting .352 with 43 RBIs with two out off Hochevar, who is 0-3 in four starts since a victory over Seattle on July 11.

After pitching out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, the Red Sox got to Hochevar for five runs in the fifth and sixth innings.

Hochevar retired the first two batters in the fifth before Alex Cora singled and J.D. Drew walked. Both scored on a double by rookie Jed Lowrie, who came home on a single by David Ortiz to give the Red Sox a 3-0 advantage.

"I'm just trying to make quality pitches down." Hochevar said of pitching with two out. "I have to understand the type of pitcher I am. I'm a groundball pitcher. Lowrie got under a sinker down and away. My approach was right. My thinking was right. He just went down and got it. Then Ortiz hit a ground ball up the middle.

"With two out is where I've gotten hurt, and it has cost us some games. I've got to find a way around it. I walked three, and that can't happen, especially against a team like that. I have to stay within myself, make quality pitches, induce ground balls, stay aggressive in the strike zone and continue to pound it."

The Royals cut the deficit to 3-2 in their half of the fifth, with Ross Gload's single scoring Billy Butler and Alex Gordon before Ellsbury made a great tumbling catch of Mitch Maier's floater to shallow center field to help squelch the rally. Butler had three of the Royals' eight hits.

"I'll take a great catch any day, but a three-run homer to center, I'll take that, too," Ellsbury said. "The home run was pretty neat, especially going to dead center. I'm thinking basically, be early to the ball and get a pitch I can drive. It sounds pretty simple.

"I got a great read on (Maier's) ball. This is a big outfield, 410 (feet) to center, and I wasn't sure I could get to it. I saw Lowrie coming pretty hard. And I dove for the ball, I tucked up, thinking we might collide, and luckily, we didn't."

Wakefield called it an "unbelievable" catch.

"That was a key catch, huge with a runner on second base, and his homer wasn't bad either," Wakefield said.

Hochevar, however, could not get out of the sixth as the Red Sox added two more runs on Drew's two-out, two-run single off Mahay.

Wakefield had lost his previous two starts at Kauffman Stadium, giving up 11 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings. But he improved to 11-6 in 25 career games against the Royals.

Red Sox cleanup hitter Kevin Youkilis, who has a season-high 12-game hitting streak, left in the first inning after being struck in the right hand by a pitch. X-rays were negative.

"He's got a pretty good bruise," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "The good news is, there is no break. By the time I got out there, it was already turning black. The trainers think there is a decent chance he'll play Friday. It sounds like it is matter of a day or two as opposed to something that looked like it had a chance to be bad."

The Royals' first four hitters went 1-for-16 with six strikeouts.

"From the second inning on, he had it going," Hillman said of Wakefield. "He didn't have to utilize his curveball and he was able to just spot his fastball. That knuckleball from the second inning on was that good."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 0 0 0 0 3 2 3 0 0 8 12 0
    KANSAS CITY 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 8 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BOS - TIM WAKEFIELD, MANNY DELCARMEN (7TH), JUSTIN MASTERSON (8TH),
    JONATHAN PAPELBON (9TH) AND KEVIN CASH
    KAN - LUKE HOCHEVAR, RON MAHAY (6TH), RAMON RAMIREZ
    (7TH

    Aug 6 10:57 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY JACOBY ELLSBURY (6) TO CENTER WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 7TH OFF RON MAHAY SCORED SEAN CASEY AND JASON BAY.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 8, KANSAS CITY 2
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K CASH (.221, 0-FOR-3)

    Red Sox 8, Royals 2  Top 7, 0 OutsAug 6 10:08 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY J.D. DREW SCORED JASON BAY AND JACOBY ELLSBURY.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J DREW ON FIRST, A CORA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 5
    KANSAS CITY 2 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J LOWRIE (.293, 1-FOR-2, BB, 2 RBI)

    Red Sox 5, Royals 2  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 6 9:50 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ROSS GLOAD SCORED BILLY BUTLER AND ALEX GORDON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R GLOAD ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3
    KANSAS CITY 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M MAIER (.303, 0-FOR-1)

    Red Sox 3, Royals 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 6 9:31 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAVID ORTIZ SCORED JED LOWRIE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, D ORTIZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3
    KANSAS CITY 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: S CASEY (.352, 0-FOR-1)

    Red Sox 3, Royals 0  Top 5, 0 OutsAug 6 9:18 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JED LOWRIE SCORED ALEX CORA AND J.D. DREW.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J LOWRIE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2
    KANSAS CITY 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D ORTIZ (.251, 0-FOR-2)

    Red Sox 2, Royals 0  Top 5, 0 OutsAug 6 9:17 PM
  • 10
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Red Sox 0, Royals 0  Top 4, 0 OutsAug 6 8:56 PM
  • 5
    roots
    dukerulez911 Added 5 roots

    Red Sox vs. RoyalsJul 30 12:46 PM