KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—One of the major leagues’ finest pitchers sent researchers scrambling through the archives Thursday night trying to figure out if anybody had ever allowed more extra-base hits in a game.
The answer, to Curt Schilling’s chagrin, was no. At least not in the American League.
Boston’s six-time All-Star got cuffed around for a shocking 10 extra-base hits—nine doubles and a home run—as the Kansas City Royals rallied for a 5-4 win and a three-game sweep.
That ties the AL record set by Washington’s Dale Gear in 1901 and equaled by Cleveland’s Luis Tiant—while facing Boston—in 1969.
The major league record is 16 by Buffalo’s George Derby in 1883.
“I don’t know if there’s any in-depth explanation other than I didn’t get the job done when I had to make the pitches,” Schilling said. “I felt fine. I felt fine.”
The victory gave the Royals, the worst team in the majors, a three-game sweep and sent the Red Sox to their fifth straight loss.
Boston limped back home on the heels of a 1-5 road trip to Tampa Bay and Kansas City, who have the two worst records in the AL.
The Royals celebrated their first three-game home sweep of the Red Sox in 15 years. Boston hadn’t lost five in a row since 2004.
“I think I gave up 11 hits,” Schilling said. “I didn’t give up a single till the last hit of the game.”
The Red Sox, who trailed the New York Yankees by three games going into the night, took a 4-2 lead into the eighth and Schilling quickly got the first out.
Then Ryan Shealy’s infield single pushed across the go-ahead run.
“I thought I was going to catch it,” Schilling said. “But I didn’t, and it just fell in a perfect spot.”
Even the normally light-hitting Royals, who are pace for their third 100-loss season in four years, were bemused.
“It’s strange,” said a grinning Teahen. “But when you’re a team full of power hitters, that happens, he said with a smile.”
Boston manager Terry Francona said he did not think Schilling tired in the eighth.
“We’ve backed ourselves into a little bit of a hole. Now we’ve got to find a way to get out of it,” he said. “Curt felt felt strong. He was pitching good. I thought he was inspired when we took the lead. The whole dugout was.”
Schilling (14-5) led 4-2 going into the eighth but failed to become the majors’ first 15-game winner.
Doug Mirabelli, in his first at-bat since missing four games with an ankle injury, homered leading off the third for a 1-0 lead for the Red Sox.
Manny Ramirez singled his first two at-bats and extended his career-best hitting streak to 25 games, second only to Chase Utley’s 35-gamer in the majors this year. He is hitting .402 during the streak.
Emil Brown homered in the Royals’ sixth. But Schilling also went into the record book in a good way. His 54th straight start without allowing an unearned run broke his own major league mark.
“I knew I was in control,” he said of the eighth. “Got that first out. Even though it would have been a bad trip at 2-4, it still would have been a win going home. Everything felt fine. I felt real strong.
“If we want to play baseball instead of golf in October, we’re going to have to pitch better.”
The Red Sox are 2-7 since captain C Jason Varitek was hurt. … Schilling also set the mark by going 53 in a row with Arizona over 2001-02 without an unearned run. This current streak began after he gave up two unearned runs on June 14, 2004 at Colorado. … A large and unusually beautiful rainbow northeast of the stadium had fans gawking in the fourth. … The Red Sox have had a losing year in Kansas City for the second season in a row. They had gone 6-0-1 the previous seven campaigns. … The start of the game was briefly delayed by rain.