BOSTON — After waiting 15 days to finish their suspended game, the Red Sox and Royals only needed 12 minutes to finally settle matters at Fenway Park on Thursday, which ended with the Red Sox celebrating a 5-4 walk-off win thanks to a Brock Holt single against Richard Lovelady.
Aug. 22 was supposed to be an off-day for the Royals, a late-summer breather between trips to Baltimore and Cleveland. Instead, they made a quick detour to Boston to finish their Aug. 7 game against the Red Sox, which was halted in the top of the 10th inning with the score tied at 4-4 due to rain.
The Royals weren’t sure what to expect from Thursday’s contest, which picked up exactly where it left off — with Josh Taylor on the mound, Nick Dini at the plate, a 2-1 count, nobody on and nobody out.
“I didn’t have any expectations,” said Royals manager Ned Yost, who had to prepare for a game that had the potential to end after one inning.
Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. The Royals came out swinging against Taylor, with Dini lining the first pitch of the day into Mitch Moreland’s glove at first base. After Ryan O’Hearn was called out on strikes, pinch-hitter Bubba Starling grounded out to end the frame.
“The best-case scenario for us would’ve been that we would’ve scored that inning and brought in Ian Kennedy,” Yost said. “He’s been our most consistent performer in the bullpen and everybody else has sort of struggled, so I was hoping to get through an inning or two, give our offense a chance to score and get back to the top of the order.”
Kansas City never got the chance. Boston, which entered Thursday with the third-most runs in the Major Leagues, quickly jumped on Lovelady. After Andrew Benintendi struck out looking, Christian Vazquez doubled into the left-center gap. Lovelady intentionally walked pinch-hitter Sam Travis to set up a force play, but Holt spoiled those plans by smacking a single into the left-field corner that scored pinch-runner Chris Owings.
The Royals will spend the night in Boston before flying on to Cleveland, where the second-place Indians await. Although Yost would have preferred an off-day on Thursday, especially coming off back-to-back losses against the Orioles, he understood the challenges of rescheduling a game late in the season.
“I don’t think there really was another solution,” Yost said. “The only other solution for me was to play it after the season ended, and that would make more sense to me rather than have to disrupt them flying cross-country and us flying, and not having off-days.”
While inconvenient, Yost said the extra travel will not affect his strategy or decision-making for this weekend’s series against the Indians. The Royals will try to bounce back behind Jakob Junis in Friday’s series opener at Progressive Field.