BOSTON (AP) Pablo Reyes hit a walkoff grand slam to break a ninth-inning tie - his third hit of the night - and the Boston Red Sox recovered after blowing a two-run lead to beat the Kansas City Royals 6-2 on Monday night.
“You can’t put these feelings into words,” Reyes said through a translator. “When you see the fans on their feet, and playing in this ballpark. Words can’t explain it.”
It was just Boston's second win in nine games, including a sweep over the weekend by the Toronto Blue Jays - the team they had hoped to pass in the AL wild-card race. The Red Sox improved to 7-0 this season wearing their yellow “City Connect” uniforms, and 22-4 all-time.
Kenley Jansen (3-5) pitched a perfect ninth for the win. Brayan Bello took a shutout into the seventh inning before the Royals scored twice to tie it.
It remained 2-2 until Rafael Devers one-hopped the short wall in right field beyond the Pesky Pole. Adam Duvall struck out - for the fourth time in the game - and Triston Casas was intentionally walked before Luis Urías, who had also struck out in his first three at-bats, walked on a checked-swing 3-2 pitch.
The Royals appealed to first base umpire Vic Carapazza, who signaled that Urías did not go around, and Kansas City manager Matt Quatraro was quickly ejected for arguing. With the bases loaded, Reyes squared around to bunt but took the first pitch for a ball.
On the second, he hit a line drive off the Fisk foul pole, sending the crowd into a frenzy. It was his first home run in 103 at-bats since September of 2021.
"My teammates, everyone was asking me, ‘Pablo, when are going to hit a homer?’” he said, switching into English. “I said, ‘I’m going to try this week. When I have the opportunity, when they give me the opportunity, I’m going to go there and I’m going to try.’
“So I’m starting to go good with two base hits, so then I say, ‘Well, I’ve got to try to go for the big swing,’” he said. "And that happened.”
Carlos Hernández (1-7) was charged with four runs and two hits and two walks, striking out one. MJ Melendez singled three times off Bello.
Royals starter Cole Ragans struck out a career-high 11 batters in 6 2/3 innings, allowing one earned run and four hits with a walk. His previous career high was eight, set in his previous start, on Wednesday against the Mets.
Ragans gave up an unearned run in the first when Reyes singled, stole second and took third on a throwing error before scoring on a sacrifice fly. Reyes doubled in the fifth and scored on Connor Wong’s double to make it 2-0.
Bello took a shutout into the seventh inning and left with a 2-0 lead after giving up a two-out double to Kyle Isbel, who took second when Duvall – apparently thinking the ball was foul – was slow to recover and throw in.
Josh Winckowski came in and gave up a run-scoring single to Maikel Garcia and then an RBI double to Bobby Witt Jr. that tied it 2-2.
Bello allowed six hits and two walks, striking out two in 6 2/3 innings. He pitched out of a no out, first and third jam in the fifth when Drew Waters doubled and then stole third. (He was originally ruled out, but the tag was deemed late on video review.) After Dairon Blanco walked, Isbel popped up foul to the catcher and then Garcia hit into a double play to end the threat.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora is expecting reinforcements soon, with SS Trevor Story due to make his season debut on Tuesday and LHP Chris Sale on track to return to the rotation Friday night. Cora also said reliever Garrett Whitlock (bruised elbow) will make one more rehab appearance and could be back with the Red Sox on Sunday. And reliever Tanner Houck (facial fracture) will need at least one more rehab appearance before a decision is made on his return.
Royals RHP Brady Singer (7-8) faces Boston RHP Kutter Crawford (5-5) on Tuesday night in the second game of the four-game series.
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