If anyone thought Bruce Chen would be THIS good when manager Ned Yost moved him to the rotation right before the All-Star break, raise your hand. If you are raising your hand, you should play the lottery more often.
Chen continued to impress everyone, as he and the KC Royals beat the visiting Boston Red Sox, 5-1. Unfortunately, first place Detroit also won in a four-game sweep of Cleveland. They are however just 4.5 games back of the final Wild Card spot and 1.5 games back of the Indians.
It also helped that the Royals offense gave him a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first against Red Sox ace Jon Lester.
Alex Gordon got the Royals on the board first with a sac fly (though it was dropped). Mike Moustakas drove in the final two runs of the inning on a two out single with the bases loaded. They sent eight men to the plate.
Chen allowed a leadoff single to start the game to Jacoby Ellsbury, but picked him off. After that Chen only allowed three more base runners before the 8th inning (two hits and a walk).
Chen allowed two hits in the top of the eighth and with two outs was lifted for Luke Hochevar. It was the only inning the Red Sox had multiple base runners against Chen. Hochevar got a pop up to end the inning (though he allowed a run in the ninth).
*As expected, Danny Duffy was sent back to Triple-A Omaha. In an unexpected move, lefty reliever Francisley Bueno was called back up. He needed to be placed on the 40-man roster, so catcher Adam Moore was released. He recently had season-ending surgery.