The Royals began Memorial Day weekend on a down note, as they were blasted 10-1 by the Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston.
On the bright side, Royals starter Dennis Leonard piled up nine strikeouts in 6 ⅓ innings. But he was tagged for nine runs on 11 hits in that span. The Red Sox got a double from Rick Burleson and a single from Fred Lynn to start the game, with Burleson scoring on a double play grounder from Jim Rice.
The Red Sox added to the lead in the third, as Leonard plunked the first batter, Denny Doyle, with a pitch. With one out, Lynn doubled to score Doyle. And with two outs, Carl Yastrzemski singled to drive in Lynn. The onslaught continued in the fourth, with Butch Hobson doubling with one out and scoring on Doyle’s single.
Leonard would retire eight straight batters after that but couldn’t make it out of the seventh inning. Doyle singled to start that inning, then stopped at third on Burleson’s double. With one out, Rice hit a grounder to shortstop Freddie Patek, who threw home trying to nail Doyle. But the throw was offline, and Doyle scored with Burleson taking third. Patek was charged with an error on the play. A wild pitch brought Burleson home, followed by an RBI single from Yastrzemski. Carlton Fisk homered to score two more runs. That ended Leonard’s appearance, but reliever Marty Pattin surrendered a home run to George Scott before getting the final two outs of the inning, with Boston now ahead 10-0.
Meanwhile, Red Sox starter Fergie Jenkins had limited the Royals to five singles and one walk through the first seven innings. Kansas City had two men on in the second but couldn’t score. They also had a scoring chance in the top of the seventh. John Mayberry led off with a single, and with one out, reached second on a groundout. Tom Poquette singled to right, but Dwight Evans made a strong throw to Fisk to cut down Mayberry at the plate and end the inning.
The Royals’ lone run came when Hal McRae homered with two outs in the eighth. But it was not nearly enough to keep them from losing for the 12th time in 17 games. That left them with a record of 19-22, in sixth place in the AL West, and 7.5 games out of first place.
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