KANSAS CITY -- Andrew Benintendi was everywhere once again Sunday.The young left fielder went 4-for-5 in a 7-4 victory over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium, leading an offense that was on a roll all weekend en route to a three-game sweep. With the victory, the Red Sox pushed their win
KANSAS CITY -- Andrew Benintendi was everywhere once again Sunday.
The young left fielder went 4-for-5 in a 7-4 victory over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium, leading an offense that was on a roll all weekend en route to a three-game sweep. With the victory, the Red Sox pushed their win streak to six games while capping a 7-2 road trip. They now have a Major League-high 62 wins.
"We put hits together and scored a lot of runs," Benintendi said. "Gave our team a good chance to win."
It was Benintendi's third career four-hit game -- his first two were five-hit eruptions -- and the first of this season. Before he struck out in the eighth, he had reached base in 10 straight plate appearances after going 2-for-2 with four walks Saturday. In that stretch, he logged six hits, scored six runs and knocked in two.
"I feel like I was seeing [the ball] pretty good," Benintendi said of his stellar series. "Just tried to keep it simple."
Benintendi helped the Red Sox score one in the third, when he moved Mookie Betts over to third with a single. Steve Pearce lofted a sacrifice fly on the next at-bat to plate Betts for the game's first run.
After Kansas City took the lead in the bottom of the frame, Boston responded in the fourth when an Eduardo Nunez RBI single plated Xander Bogaerts and tied the game at 2.
The Royals retook the lead in the bottom of the inning, but the Red Sox came right back again thanks in part to Benintendi, as he, Betts and Pearce all reached on one-out singles. A bases-loaded walk to Mitch Moreland scored Betts to tie it and bounce Kansas City starter Heath Fillmyer, and Bogaerts hit a sacrifice fly to plate Benintendi and give Boston a 4-3 lead.
Another rally was sparked by Benintendi in the seventh, when he led off the inning with a double. A pair of singles from Pearce and Moreland got Benintendi across, and they each scored on a double from Bogaerts and a single from Nunez, respectively.
Red Sox starter Rick Porcello was his usual steady self, tossing seven strong innings in which he allowed nine hits and three runs. He struck out nine, which tied his season high.
"He battled today," manager Alex Cora said. "He did an outstanding job going seven, and [with] the situation we were in with the bullpen, it was outstanding. That was good."
Closer Craig Kimbrel came on with one out in the ninth after Whit Merrifield knocked in Raul Mondesi to trim the Red Sox's lead to 7-4, and thus open a save opportunity. Kimbrel converted, getting the final two outs to pick up his 27th save, the second most in the Major Leagues.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Porcello clamps down: Porcello got into some trouble in the seventh, allowing a leadoff single to Andrew Butera and a double to Merrifield immediately after. This prompted Cora to visit Porcello at the mound, with the idea of possibly pulling him for Richard Hembree, who was ready in the bullpen.
Porcello wouldn't let Cora take him out, though, telling his skipper, "I got this," repeatedly. He followed up on that promise, striking out Jorge Bonifacio and Mike Moustakas with high fastballs before getting Lucas Duda to fly out to center, quashing any chance of a comeback.
"I went out there with the thought of taking him out," Cora said. "I think with the lead and with the conviction he told me he got it, we went hitter by hitter and he got the three of them. Which, it was interesting, because he started pitching upstairs, which is great. That's good to see. He started throwing that fastball up with conviction, and he got some swings and misses. So there's another weapon there."
The Red Sox have now scored five-plus runs 53 times this season, the most of any team in the Majors.
Boston holds the league's highest winning percentage in day games at .815 (22-5). The Sox have won 16 of their last 18 afternoon affairs.
The Red Sox will return to Fenway Park on Monday to begin a seven-game homestand that will take them into the All-Star break. Eduardo Rodriguez will pitch Monday's opener vs. Mike Minor (6-4, 4.63 ERA) and the Rangers at 7:10 p.m. ET. Rodriguez tossed six solid frames Wednesday vs. the Nationals, allowing three hits and no runs while picking up his 10th win.
Jordan Wolf is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City.