Kansas City at Boston

Kansas City (40-53) «0002105109132
Boston (56-37)0000100203120

Royals 9, Red Sox 3

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

BOSTON -- The only thing keeping Leo Nunez from earning a victory in his first major league start was his pitch count.

The Kansas City righty took a shutout into the fifth inning, outpitching 15-year veteran Tim Wakefield on Tuesday night to help the Kansas City Royals beat the Boston Red Sox 9-3. Jimmy Gobble (4-1) and three other relievers finished up.

"His pitch count isn't up to where a starter normally is, but I thought he did a nice job against a good lineup," Royals manager Buddy Bell said after Nunez threw 74 pitches in four-plus innings. "If we can get to our bullpen and we can line them up the way they need to be lined up, then we're pretty good."

Nunez, who broke his right wrist in spring training, was called up from Triple-A Omaha before the game for his first big league appearance since Aug. 5. He scattered six hits and a walk while striking out three, leaving with a 3-0 lead after Julio Lugo doubled to lead off the fifth.

"He felt good. He just couldn't make the decision," said reliever Octavio Dotel, who was serving as a temporary translator for his fellow Dominican. "If they give him another chance, he'll be happy to do it. Relieving, starting -- it doesn't matter."

Tony Pena Jr., who hadn't gotten a hit since the All-Star break, and Alex Gordon each had three of Kansas City's 13 hits. The Royals, who have beaten the first-place Red Sox in seven of their last 11 meetings, have a 3.40 ERA since June 24 -- the best in the majors.

Gobble faced three batters: a fly ball to right that allowed Lugo to move to third, a run-scoring grounder that was bobbled by second baseman Mark Grudzielanek for an error, and then a strikeout of slugger David Ortiz.

"We didn't think (Nunez) would be able to go real deep, just because that's the way he's been used. But he got them to where they were comfortable," Boston manager Terry Francona said.

"And then Gobble comes in and makes a big pitch on David and they spread the game out. By then the game turns around and you don't need a hit, you need a bunch of hits."

Wakefield (10-9) gave up six runs on nine hits and a wild pitch, striking out one in 6 1/3 innings. Most of the damage came in the Royals' five-run seventh, when Reggie Sanders led off with a double, Gordon singled and then John Buck doubled them both home; Wakefield left one out later.

The Red Sox got out of the inning when Ross Gload singled in one run, but Billy Butler was caught trying to go from first to third.

Wakefield has a decision in all 19 starts this season. The Red Sox have scored just 19 runs in his 20 losses since the start of the 2006 season.

Boston threatened against Zack Greinke when Lugo led off the seventh with a single and, one out later, Dustin Pedroia walked. But Emil Brown made a jumping catch of Ortiz's deep fly to left-center and easily doubled off Pedroia, who was halfway to third when he had to turn around and head back to first.

Boston cut the deficit to 9-3 off Joel Peralta in the eighth when Coco Crisp tripled in one run and scored on Doug Mirabelli's single. Lugo followed with his second double of the night, but Joakim Soria struck out J.D. Drew to end the inning.

Mike Lowell had three hits, and Lugo also had three to raise his batting average to .217 from a low of .189 on July 7.


  • Nunez came into the game with an 11.48 ERA in 23 career road appearances. It dropped to 6.59. Kansas City optioned LHP Neal Musser to Omaha.
  • Red Sox RHP Brendan Donnelly was examined on Tuesday in California by Dr. Lewis Yocum, who agreed with the previous diagnosis of a strained right forearm. Donnelly was to return to Boston and resume strengthening exercises. He was scratched from a rehab start with soreness in the forearm on Friday.
  • Ortiz and Drew each stranded five baserunners.
  • Mark Teahen, who threw out Lowell at third base in the second, ranks second in the AL with 12 outfield assists.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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In his first start of the year, Leo Nunez scatters six hits and takes a shutout into the fifth inning. (AP)
In his first start of the year, Leo Nunez scatters six hits and takes a shutout into the fifth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Kansas City

A. Gordon
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 0
Kansas City

T. Pena
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0

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Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, CF4100103 .272
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B5221001 .277
Mark Teahen, RF5110011 .284
Billy Butler, DH4012100 .301
Ross Gload, 1B4011001 .262
Reggie Sanders, LF3110001 .377
    Emil Brown, LF1000000 .236
Alex Gordon, 3B4330000 .236
John Buck, C4112012 .245
Tony Pena, SS4032001 .278
    Jason Smith, SS0000000 .217
2B - Billy Butler (8, Wakefield), Reggie Sanders (7, Wakefield), Alex Gordon (16, Pineiro), John Buck (14, Wakefield), Tony Pena 2 (17, Wakefield, Pineiro)
RBI - Mark Grudzielanek (29), Billy Butler 2 (19), Ross Gload (25), John Buck 2 (31), Tony Pena 2 (30)
2-OUT RBI - Ross Gload (9), Tony Pena (11)
SB - Alex Gordon (10, 2nd base off Wakefield/Mirabelli)
CS - Tony Pena (3, 2nd base by Wakefield/Mirabelli)
Team LOB - 4
Outfield Assists - Emil Brown 1, Mark Teahen 1
DP - Pena-Grudzielanek-Gload, Teahen-Gordon, Grudzielanek-Pena-Gload, E. Brown-Pena-Gload
E - Mark Grudzielanek (4, Misplayed grounder), Tony Pena (16, Misplayed grounder)
Kansas City Royals
Leo Nunez 4611130 2.25
Jimmy Gobble (W,4-1) 0.2000010 2.73
Zack Greinke (H,8) 1.2200200 4.54
Joel Peralta 1.1422010 3.77
Joakim Soria 1.1000030 2.04
Pitches-Strikes - Leo Nunez 74-45, Jimmy Gobble 15-8, Zack Greinke 33-20, Joel Peralta 21-15, Joakim Soria 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Leo Nunez 3-5, Jimmy Gobble 1-1, Zack Greinke 1-3
Batters Faced - Leo Nunez 18, Jimmy Gobble 3, Zack Greinke 8, Joel Peralta 7, Joakim Soria 4
Boston Red Sox
J.D. Drew, RF4000115 .256
    Eric Hinske, LF0000000 .196
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4011111 .311
David Ortiz, DH5010015 .320
Manny Ramirez, LF2010101 .289
    Wily Mo Pena, LF-RF2000020 .210
Kevin Youkilis, 1B4010002 .316
Mike Lowell, 3B4130002 .307
Coco Crisp, CF4111014 .265
Doug Mirabelli, C4011022 .188
Julio Lugo, SS4130000 .217
2B - Mike Lowell (23, Nunez), Julio Lugo 2 (15, Nunez, Peralta)
3B - Coco Crisp (5, Peralta)
RBI - Dustin Pedroia (28), Coco Crisp (30), Doug Mirabelli (10)
2-OUT RBI - Coco Crisp (11), Doug Mirabelli (6)
Team LOB - 10
Outfield Assists - Manny Ramirez 1
PB - Doug Mirabelli (6)
Boston Red Sox
Tim Wakefield (L,10-9) 6.1966010 4.69
Javier Lopez 0.2222200 3.60
Joel Pineiro 1211010 5.06
Kyle Snyder 1000000 3.12
IBB - Butler by Javier Lopez
WP - Tim Wakefield (8)
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Wakefield 78-54, Javier Lopez 25-12, Joel Pineiro 16-11, Kyle Snyder 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Wakefield 8-9, Joel Pineiro 2-0, Kyle Snyder 3-0
Batters Faced - Tim Wakefield 27, Javier Lopez 5, Joel Pineiro 5, Kyle Snyder 3
Game Information
Attendance - 37001
Game Time - 3:16
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Larry Vanover, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Charlie Reliford