Rick Porcello

Closing Time: Rick Porcello, Red Sox struggles continue in Kansas City

Rob Bradford
June 20, 2015 - 6:21 pm

For a while it looked like the Red Sox might be heading to their third three-game win streak of the season. Then came the fifth inning. In the fifth the wheels came off once again for Rick Porcello, with the Red Sox starter relinquishing the visitors lead via a five-run frame for the Royals. The Sox could never recover, dropping a 7-4 decision to Kansas City. The performance marked another disappointment for Porcello, who continues to be mired in a subpar season. After allowing six runs on eight hits over five innings against the Royals, the righty's ERA stands at 5.61. Porcello has lost his last six starts, not having claimed a victory since May 16. He has now also allowed 17 fifth-inning runs, far and away more than any other frame. The fifth inning also marked another instance of Porcello giving up runs immediately after his team scored in the previous half inning. In this case the Red Sox had built a 4-1 lead with two runs in the top of the fifth. Included in Porcello's night was the starter allowing a pair of home runs, one in the second inning by Salvador Perez and another in the fifth, coming off the bat of Kendrys Morales. The Sox hurler has now allowed 13 homers this season. "It's been everything," Porcello told reporters. "Right now I don'€™t feel like there's anything mechanically that'€™s glaring. For the most part, I feel like I did a good job of keeping the ball down. It's these innings that are taking me out of games and taking our team out of games. I've got to keep grinding through it and keep fighting and making sure they don'€™t put up these big runs. That'€™s all there is to it. Grit your teeth and keep going after it." The loss drops the Red Sox 10 games under .500, and 10 games out of first-place in the American League East with division leader Tampa Bay winning once again. (For a complete box score, click here.) WHAT WENT WRONG - David Ortiz had another run-in with an umpire, getting ejected in the seventh inning after arguing with home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman. The Red Sox designated hitter actually reached first base via a single off of KC reliever Kelvin Herrera. But after flipping his bat toward the home plate area, and then continuing sending words toward Dreckman while standing at first base, Ortiz was ultimately tossed. (To read about Ortiz' reaction to the ejection, click here.) - After managing four runs on eight hits against Kansas City starter Edison Volquez, the Red Sox could manage very little against the highly-touted KC bullpen. The combination of Franklin Moralex, Ryan Madson, Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland allowed just three baserunners while striking out four in a combined 3 2/3 innings. - Both Pablo Sandoval (sprained left ankle) and Blake Swihart (sprained left foot) were forced to exit the game early due to fifth-inning injuries. (To read more about the ailments, click here.) "They both had X-rays here," Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters. "Blake'€™s is at the base of the fifth toe. There were no fractures there and nothing structurally bone-wise on Pablo either." WHAT WENT RIGHT - Mookie Betts continued his hot hitting, claiming his seventh homer of the season while manning the leadoff spot. Betts joined Hanley Ramirez, Alejandro De Aza and Swihart as the only Red Sox to claim multiple-hit games. - Dustin Pedroia made his presence felt defensively in the eighth inning, ranging into right field to first rob Omar Infante of a hit, but then whirling around to throw into first to double up Alex Rios.