Junichi Tazawa allowed four runs in the ninth inning to take the loss. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Closing Time: Junichi Tazawa blows save, Red Sox fall to Royals

Ryan Hannable
August 23, 2015 - 1:15 pm

The adventures of the Red Sox bullpen continue. With a 6-4 lead in the ninth, Junichi Tazawa blew the save as he allowed four runs in the inning on six hits, as the Royals beat the Red Sox 8-6. A bases loaded single by Eric Hosmer scored two runs to tie the game and then after a walk, Mike Moustakas hit a two-run double for the last two runs of the inning. Kendrys Morales was thrown out at the plate on the play to end the inning trying to score from first. The inning started with a very bizarre play as Jackie Bradley Jr. misplayed a ball that landed on the warning track and with Omar Infante trying to extend it to an inside-the-park home run, Bradley Jr. threw a strike to the plate to get Infante for the first out of the ninth. The play was reviewed, but stood. "They hit some good pitches. It was not a typical [Tazawa] day," interim manager Torey Lovullo said. "He has been very consistent for us all year long. We have to give them credit. They are a pretty good team, able to take advantage of mistakes and they did. That's why they are the best team in the American League right now." With the game tied at four in the seventh inning, Ryan Hanigan led off with a single and then came around to score from first on Bradley Jr.'s double down the right field line. Bradley Jr. scored on a Pablo Sandoval two-out dribbler in front of the mound that Royals reliever Franklin Morales over threw first base (although he would have likely beat the throw anyway). Bradley Jr. finished the game 2-for-4 with two doubles. Before his single in the ninth, he had 11 straight extra-base hits. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez didn't have his best stuff and also didn't get support from his defense in the fourth inning, but despite all that he was able to keep the Sox in the game. Overall, the left-hander went six innings and allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits, while not walking a batter and only striking out one. In the fourth inning, Morales hit a ball up the middle which could have been an inning-ending double play, but second baseman Josh Rutledge booted the ball allowing it to go into center field. Mookie Betts' throw to third base then skipped into the Royals dugout. Morales then scored on a Moustakas double. Moustakas would later hit a home run in the sixth for the fourth Royals run off Rodriguez. The Red Sox scored two runs in the second and then tied the game at four in the sixth. David Ortiz had a sacrifice fly to make it 4-3 and then Travis Shaw doubled with two outs and was driven in on a Rusney Castillo single. Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox' loss: WHAT WENT WRONG -- Obviously Tazawa's ninth inning, as it doesn't seem like the closer's role is best for the reliever. -- After homering Saturday, Betts went 0-for-5, which snapped an 8-game hit streak. -- Rodriguez deserved a better line, as the two runs in the fourth could have been avoided as they committed two errors on the play. Hanigan also had a throwing error behind the plate. WHAT WENT RIGHT -- Castillo went 2-for-3 to extend his hit streak to eight games, which is a season-high. Over those games the outfielder is hitting .387 in that span. -- Pablo Sandoval went 2-for-5 to extend his hit streak to six games.