Red Sox

Red Sox lose 4-2 to Royals, drop out of AL East lead

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Red Sox lose 4-2 to Royals, drop out of AL East lead

BOSTON -- Rick Porcello stepped in for David Price, who is back on the disabled list.

Kansas City's offense wasn't fazed by the switch.

Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas homered as the Royals extended their winning streak to a season-high nine with a 4-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.

Perez homered over the Green Monster in the second and Moustakas made it 4-0 in the fourth. He hit his 30th homer in his 92nd game, the fastest to reach the mark in team history, and he is six homers shy of the Kansas City season record set by Steve Balboni in 1985.

"It was a big win for us against a great club over there," Moustakas said. "It's always nice to hit homers, but when they help you go ahead or add some runs against a great team, it definitely makes it a little better."

Jorge Bonifacio had singled leading off, and Eric Hosmer beat the shift with a single to left that put runners at the corners.

Porcello (4-14), who had been scheduled to pitch Saturday, leads the major leagues in losses. He allowed four runs and six hits in seven innings.

"The one to Moustakas is really the one that's going to make it hard to sleep tonight," Porcello said. "He was fouling off some pitches off - just trying to drive a fastball in right there and if I miss for a ball so be it. I didn't have a problem putting him on and ran right back into his barrel."

Price started the season on the DL and didn't make his first start until May 29. The 31-year-old left-hander, winner of the 2012 AL Cy Young Award, is 5-3 with a 3.82 ERA.

"I do not know if he'll miss the season," Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombroski. "I'm not anticipating that at this time."

Porcello said that he "knew pretty early" after his July 23 start at the Los Angeles Angels that it was possible he would be moved up.

"It was early enough for me to prepare and be fine," he said.

Boston has lost five of six and nine of 14, dropping out of the AL East lead for the first time since June 29 and falling a half-game behind the New York Yankees.

Jason Vargas (13-4) gave up one run and five hits in six innings. Vargas, who had been winless in three starts since June 30, is one shy of his career high for wins, set in 2012 with Seattle.

Kelvin Herrera pitched a one-hit ninth for his 22nd save in 25 chances, getting rookie Rafael Devers to hit into a game-ending forceout after Andrew Benintendi's two-out single.

Kansas City, which has rebounded from a 7-16 start, is 15-8 in July and on its longest winning streak since nine consecutive victories from last Aug. 14-23. The Royals have outscored opponents 67-27 during the streak and outhomered them 20-2.

Three days after his big league debut, Devers went 1 for 2 in his first home game for the Red Sox. He doubled down the right-field line in the fifth and scored on Mookie Betts' single, and at 20 years, 277 days became the youngest Boston player with a hit at Fenway Park since Mike Garman in 1969.

Chris Young tripled off Mike Minor leading off the seventh and scored on Sandy Leon's groundout.

CLUTCH

Ten of Perez's 21 homers have put the Royals ahead.

LATER, DAD

The Royals dealt RHP Luke Farrell, the son of the Red Sox manager, to the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash considerations. Farrell made his major league debut on July 1, allowing five runs over 2 2/3 innings against the Twins.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: Perez returned to the lineup after leaving Tuesday's game and sitting out Wednesday with soreness on his right side. ... The Royals recalled OF Terrance Gore from Triple-A Omaha. Gore has split time between Double- and Triple-A this season, hitting .231 with 17 steals. ... OFs Paulo Orlando and Cheslor Cuthbert will remain on rehab assignment after both suffering setbacks.

Red Sox: LHP Robby Scott was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Price's roster spot.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Trevor Cahill (4-3, 3.69 for San Diego) is to make his first start for the Royal on Saturday following his acquisition from the Padres. Cahill is 0-2 with a 7.79 ERA at Fenway Park.

Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3, 3.89) is 1-0 with a 2.38 ERA in four home starts this season but is 0-2 in three starts since beating Seattle on May 26.

MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

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MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

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Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

Max Scherzer heard his name and thrust his arms in the air, shouting and smiling big before turning to kiss his wife.

Corey Kluber, on the other hand, gulped once and blinked.

Two aces, two different styles - and now another Cy Young Award for each.

The animated Scherzer of the Washington Nationals coasted to his third Cy Young, winning Wednesday for the second straight year in the National League. He breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Kluber's win was even more of a runaway. The Cleveland Indians ace took 28 first-place votes, easily outpacing Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox for his second AL Cy Young.

Scherzer yelled "yes!" when his award was announced on MLB Network, a reaction in keeping with his expressive reputation. He showed that intensity often this year, whether he was cursing under his breath like a madman during his delivery or demanding - also with expletives - that manager Dusty Baker leave him in the game.

Just a little different than the pitcher they call "Klubot." Kluber was stoic as ever when announced as the AL winner. He swallowed hard but otherwise didn't react, only showing the hint of a smile moments later when answering questions.

Not that he wasn't thrilled.

"Winning a second one maybe, for me personally, kind of validates the first one," Kluber said.

Scherzer's win moves him into rare company. He's the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs, and among the other nine, only Kershaw and Roger Clemens aren't in the Hall of Fame.

"That's why I'm drinking a lot of champagne tonight," Scherzer said.

Scherzer earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with Detroit.

"This one is special," he said. "When you start talking about winning three times, I can't even comprehend it at this point."

Scherzer was 16-6 with a career-best 2.51 ERA this year. The 33-year-old righty struck out a league-leading 268 for the NL East champion Nationals, and in an era noted for declining pitcher durability, he eclipsed 200 innings for the fifth straight season. He had to overcome a variety of ailments to get there, and Washington's training staff was high on his thank-you list.

"Everybody had a role in keeping me out on the field," he said. "I'm very thankful for all their hard work."

Kershaw has won three NL Cy Youngs and was the last pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts. This is his second runner-up finish. Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals finished third.

Kluber missed a month of the season with back pain and still easily won the AL award over Sale and third-place finisher Luis Severino of the New York Yankees. Kluber led the majors with a 2.25 ERA, and his 18 wins tied for the most in baseball. He added to the Cy Young he won with the Indians in 2014 and is the 19th pitcher to win multiple times.

The 31-year-old Kluber was especially dominant down the stretch, closing out the season by going 11-1 to help Cleveland win the AL Central. He and Minnesota's Ervin Santana tied for the major league lead with five complete games - nobody else had more than two. Kluber also led the majors with 8.0 wins above replacement, per baseball-reference.com.

Kluber and Scherzer both had rough outings in the playoffs. Kluber gave up nine runs over two starts in an AL Division Series against the Yankees, and Scherzer blew a save in the decisive Game 5 of an NL Division Series against the Cubs.

Scherzer said he couldn't even watch the League Championship Series, although he did tune in for the World Series.

"That will eat at me this whole offseason," he said.

Voting for the awards was completed before the postseason began.

The final BBWAA honors will come Thursday when the MVP awards are announced in the AL and NL.

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