Soler hits 2 long HRs, Royals beat Red Sox 6-2 to snap skid
BOSTON (AP) — Jorge Soler didn’t have to wait for the question about the Green Monster to be finished before breaking into a wide smile.
Soler hit a pair of long two-run homers over the Monster, Jakob Junis pitched six effective innings and the Kansas City Royals snapped their seven-game losing streak by beating the Boston Red Sox 6-2 on Tuesday night.
“When (I) get to a park like this, it feels little bit more comfortable obviously because the park is smaller,” he said through a translator after breaking into his smile. “You can mis-hit balls and they end up leaving the yard.”
Soler was standing at his locker after the game with an ice pack on his left shoulder, but it certainly didn’t affect his power on the two shots that totaled nearly an estimated 800 feet.
“He hits ’em a long way,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said.
Ryan O’Hearn also homered for Kansas City, which had lost eight in a row to the Red Sox — its longest slump ever against Boston.
Christian Vázquez had two hits with an RBI double for Boston, which halted its eight-game skid a night earlier.
The Red Sox also were held without a home run, ending a club-record stretch of at least one homer in 18 straight games in Fenway Park.
Junis (7-10) escaped a couple of early jams and gave up one run on seven hits, striking out four with one walk. He went at least six innings for the 12th time in his last 15 starts.
“You definitely want to be the one to put a stop to it,” Junis said of the team’s skid. “You want to be the guy that goes out and throws a strong game.”
Andrew Cashner (10-7) gave up six runs on seven hits — three of them homers — over 5 1/3 innings, dropping his record to 1-4 since being traded from Baltimore to the Red Sox.
“I thought I had good stuff,” he said. “Made three mistakes, they hit three home runs. Kind of the way it goes, but they’re a team that we’ve got to beat. I’ve got to be better.”
A night after the Red Sox got a solid start from Rick Porcello to snap their longest losing stretch since dropping eight straight in 2015, Cashner was chased with Boston trailing 6-1 in the sixth.
Soler’s first homer, his 30th of the season, left Fenway completely, making it 2-1 in the fourth.
Two innings later, he hit a drive that caromed off a billboard in left center to make it 6-1 after Hunter Dozier’s RBI single. Soler is seven homers from tying the club record for a season, set by Mike Moustakas in 2017.
O’Hearn’s drive went into the seats in deep right, next to the Royals bullpen.
The Red Sox stranded seven runners over the first four innings.
“I think we swung at a lot of pitches that were out of the zone or pitches at the end of the zone that we can’t do damage with it,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.
Kansas City center fielder Bubba Starling struck out swinging in all four at-bats but made a nice catch to save at least one run.
Cashner has given up at least six runs in three of his five starts after he was acquired from the Orioles in mid-July. He’s allowed seven homers in 28 innings and has a 7.53 ERA with the Red Sox.
During the eight-game skid, Boston’s starters had a 10.95 ERA.
Starling made a leaping catch on Vázquez’s fly ball at the wall to end the third inning and likely saved two runs.
Boston had already taken a 1-0 lead on Andrew Benintendi’s RBI single and had runners on first and third when Starling drifted back to the wall before jumping to make the grab.
HOW ABOUT THAT
Red Sox 2B Michael Chavis made a nice over-the -shoulder catch in shallow center off Dozier before tumbling to the ground.
Red Sox: Cora said knuckleballer Steven Wright is traveling to Florida to see Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday to get a second opinion on his pitching elbow. … Cora also said that RHP Heath Hembree received a platelet-rich plasma injection near his right elbow. SS Xander Bogaerts got the day off.
Royals: RHP Glenn Sparkman (3-7, 5.58 ERA) is scheduled to pitch the series finale Wednesday. He’s 0-4 with a 10.16 ERA in seven road starts this season.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (13-5, 4.19) is slated to go for Boston. The Red Sox are 17-3 in his last 20 starts.