Royals’ hot start, early lead stifled in 4th

By the time the Royals finished the second inning Monday night, they had scored as many runs as they had all weekend. They just didn’t have one final answer for a powerful Red Sox lineup that pounced on Kansas City pitching.

On a night the ball was carrying at Fenway Park, the Royals hit three homers, but lost, 6-5, in the first of a four-game set against the Red Sox. Boston mounted a six-run comeback on starter Danny Duffy and the Royals bullpen for their sixth straight loss on this current 10-game road trip.

The Royals did to Garrett Richards what a lot of teams had done to the right-hander — who entered Monday with a 9.82 ERA in his last three starts — recently, which is a good sign for any offense, but especially one that’s trying to find its footing.

Whit Merrifield led off the game with a single in the top of the first, and Jorge Soler — in his first game in the No. 2 spot of the order — followed with an opposite-field single. Then Carlos Santana crushed a pitch to right-center field to give the Royals a three-run lead before Richards recorded an out. It was the Royals’ first home run in four games and gave them their first lead since the third inning on Friday against the Rangers.