BOSTON -- It's not as if Royals left-hander Danny Duffy didn't try everything in his arsenal to stop Mookie Betts.
Duffy tried a changeup in the fourth inning. Home run.
Duffy tried a slider in the fifth inning. Home run.
Duffy tried a two-seam fastball in the seventh inning. Home run.
J.D. Martinez also homered against Duffy and that was enough for the Red Sox to overcome a three-run deficit and post a 5-4 victory on Wednesday afternoon in the rubber game at Fenway Park.
But the Royals weren't quite in the mood to shower Betts with too much praise.
"He's good," manager Ned Yost said. "He hit mistakes. They weren't well-located pitches."
Duffy clearly was frustrated by his own performance. Asked if it was one of those days to simply tip his cap to Betts, Duffy said, "Yeah, I suppose.
"He's a good hitter, a great hitter. He's been doing what he's been doing for a long time for a reason. [But] I'm searching for outs. That's all I'm searching for. My stuff has been great. I've been busting my [butt] every freaking game. I'm tired of going out there and getting my [butt] kicked with great stuff.
"I don't know what else to say. It's nothing between the ears that's detrimental. There's nothing going on physically. I'm just not making pitches to get guys out. I'm sick of it."
Duffy went 6 2/3 innings, giving up 10 hits and five runs while walking one and striking out six.
"Like I told Danny after the game, this is a tough club to make mistakes on because they're going to make you pay," Yost said. "And Danny didn't make a lot of them. I thought he threw the ball really well."
The Royals struck quickly, getting one run in the first inning on a walk, a double by Jorge Soler and a sacrifice fly by Salvador Perez.
The Royals made it 3-0 in the second inning on Drew Butera's two-run double.
Cheslor Cuthbert added a solo home run in the eighth, his third homer in four days.
"We cashed in one in the first, two in the second, then had another opportunity or two [and didn't]," Yost said. "But we're swinging the bats better."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
The Royals had a terrific opportunity to break the game open in the third inning. Soler opened with his second double of the game and went to third on a checked-swing single by Mike Moustakas. Perez popped out to short left, but Cuthbert drew a walk to load the bases. But Jon Jay rolled into a 4-6-3 double play, killing the rally. Jay has come up with the bases loaded seven times this season -- most on the Royals -- and has two RBIs in those situations.
HE SAID IT
"I've got to be better for this team. I'm tired of my squad spotting me runs and me giving them right back. I'm just extremely frustrated. There's nothing I can do but keep trying. It's beating a dead horse. I'm not going to change anything. I just have to do better to locate … my team has lost every game I've started." -- Duffy
Left-hander Eric Skoglund (1-2, 6.23 ERA) will take the mound at at 1:15 p.m. CT on Thursday as the Royals open a four-game set with the Tigers at Kauffman Stadium. Right-hander Mike Fiers (2-2, 3.91) will pitch for Detroit. Skoglund is coming off his best outing in the Majors, going seven innings and giving up two hits and one run while striking out a career-high nine against the White Sox on Saturday.