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Mechanical tweak paying off for Hammel

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- Make that four straight quality starts for Royals right-hander Jason Hammel, whose season suddenly has been reborn.

Hammel (4-6) held the Red Sox to seven hits and two runs through seven innings, and the Royals rallied late to seal a 4-2 victory on Monday. Once again, Hammel's command was exceptional. He walked none and now has walked just one hitter in his past four starts, covering 27 1/3 innings.

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KANSAS CITY -- Make that four straight quality starts for Royals right-hander Jason Hammel, whose season suddenly has been reborn.

Hammel (4-6) held the Red Sox to seven hits and two runs through seven innings, and the Royals rallied late to seal a 4-2 victory on Monday. Once again, Hammel's command was exceptional. He walked none and now has walked just one hitter in his past four starts, covering 27 1/3 innings.

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"He gave us seven strong innings," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Ever since [pitching coach] Dave [Eiland] and Jason made a mechanical adjustment, he's been lights-out."

Since Eiland got Hammel to square his shoulders up more during a bullpen session in late May, Hammel has delivered five out of six quality starts and lowered his once-bulging ERA to 4.83.

"I have felt pretty good with my command," said Hammel, who tossed 91 pitches. "That's about as good a lineup as you'll find tonight, and they put up a good fight. They were more aggressive than I thought they would be. I think that helped out with the pitch count.

"To hold them to six singles and a homer, I feel good about that."

The Royals had a 2-0 lead on Eric Hosmer's two-run homer entering the fourth when Boston's Jackie Bradley Jr. took Hammel deep to right for a two-run home run that traveled a projected 423 feet per Statcast™.

"It was a slider that Bradley got a hold of," Hammel said. "Hos gives us a two-run homer and naturally I give it right back. My slider was more of a cutter until the seventh inning, when it finally showed up. But to hold them to two and not feel great, that's pretty good."

Hammel had one more scare in the sixth when he hit Hanley Ramirez with a pitch and then with one out, Bradley singled.

But Hammel got Josh Rutledge to strike out on a breaking ball, and then got Pablo Sandoval to ground into a forceout to escape any damage and keep game tied at 2.

"You have to continue to trust your stuff and use your fielders behind you," Hammel said. "You have to make sure your misses are down when you pitch to them. I was able to do that right there."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Jason Hammel