Boston Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar is proud of what he has done at the plate so far this season. It was his glove that had him feeling lousy Sunday.
Escobar booted two ground balls, leading to three unearned runs, and the Royals lost, 8-6, to the Boston Red Sox.
“It’s hard for me right now,” Escobar said, quietly sitting at his locker with his head down. “I try to play hard with my defense. I know I can hit right now. I feel really bad right now, two errors in one game is bad for me.”
Escobar has hit well in his second season with Kansas City. Entering Sunday, he was the second-best-hitting shortstop in the majors, batting .304 to trail only New York’s Derek Jeter.
“You don’t see that very often,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of Escobar’s rough day. “We struggled to catch the ball today, and we had to pay for it. They were both tough plays, the first one skipped up on him, and the second was hit hard.”
Escobar’s first error led to the go-ahead run in the sixth. The second paved the way for two unearned runs in the seventh that put Kansas City in a 7-4 hole.
James Loney hit a tying single in his Boston debut and Jacoby Ellsbury drove in the go-ahead run as the revamped Red Sox bounced back from a nine-player trade and a 12-inning loss on Saturday night.
Will Smith (4-6) allowed five runs — four earned — and nine hits in five-plus innings for Kansas City.
“Just not a good day. It just wasn’t there today,” he said. “Couldn’t get anybody out, just gave up a lot of base hits. Nothing was working.”
A day after he was the only major leaguer coming to Boston in a deal that sent Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto and more than $250 million in salary to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Loney went 1 for 5. Pedro Ciriaco had three hits, scored twice and drove in two runs for the Red Sox, who won for just the fourth time in 12 games.
Pedro Beato (1-0) allowed two runs in two-plus innings but got the win on the same day he was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket. Mark Melancon pitched the ninth for his first save.
Lorenzo Cain hit a three-run homer as the Royals scored four times in the fourth to take a 4-2 lead.
Ciriaco hit a solo homer in the fifth.