|Kansas City (37-50)||0||0||0||0||1||5||1||2||0||9||13||3|
|Boston (53-34) «||3||3||1||2||0||0||3||3||x||15||12||1|
"I feel like I've checked in," Smoltz said. "It has been a long time, but this is not a feel-good story. I believe this team will be in position to win every time I go out there and the best is yet to come."
Smoltz (1-2) struck out seven over five innings, allowing one run on four hits. He struck out four batters in a row over the second and third inning capped off by called third strikes that painted the corner on Miguel Olivo and Tony Pena.
Coming off shoulder surgery that cut his 2008 season to six appearances, the 42-year-old Smoltz didn't make his first start until June 25 against Washington. He struggled with an 0-2 record and 6.60 ERA in three previous appearances.
"If you told me seven or eight years ago that I'd be helping John Smoltz get a win, I probably wouldn't believe you. That was awesome," Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard said.
Gil Meche (4-9) left with two outs in the fourth inning with back spasms after he had allowed seven runs -- five earned.
"Stuff-wise I thought I had great stuff," Meche said. "After the second pitch to Pedroia in the fourth inning I felt a twinge in my lower back and it was a bad muscle spasm. It's a good thing the All-Star break is here."
"You sit here for four starts hearing me say that it's going to happen, but people want to see it," Smoltz said. "The patience they have had with me is vital to what I believe is going to be a very successful run."
The Red Sox scored three in the first and took advantage of four Kansas City blunders.
David DeJesus misplayed Dustin Pedroia's triple, then Tony Pena misplayed Jason Bay's grounder and failed to force out Ortiz at second allowing Youkilis to score and Ortiz to advance to third. Jacoby Ellsbury then hit a deep fly to left and Jose Guillen thought it was the final out and initially began running in before remembering that Ortiz was tagging up at third. Olivo made the final mistake when he was charged with a throwing error.
Youkilis' two-run homer capped a three-run second before Varitek tied his 2008 output with his 13th home run to make it 7-0 after three.
"It's just one of those nights where we had to keep battling," Youkilis said. "You're going to have times where the hitting is better than the pitching, but we need our pitching to be better than our hitting over the long haul."
Meche struck out six. Since a four-hit shutout against Arizona on June 16, he is 0-4 with a 8.39 ERA in five starts.
Ortiz increased Boston's lead to 9-0 when hit a two-run homer off reliever Ron Mahay, who then retired seven straight.
Manny Delcarmen replaced Masterson and promptly walked DeJesus to load the bases. Ryan Freel followed with a flare to right that J.D. Drew played on the short hop before firing a strike to Varitek to get Olivo for a rare 9-2 force out.
"Bad read - He's going back to tag up on a low line drive. You can't go back and tag. ... You're not going to score," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "It's not a read the third base coach can make for you."
Guillen led off the seventh with a solo shot to pull the Royals to 9-7 and then Okajima gave up a pair of singles before being replaced by Bard, who had retired 19 straight coming in. He struck out Olivo and pinch-hitter Brayan Pena before getting DeJesus to ground out.
Boston batted around in the seventh and eighth adding three runs in each, highlighted by Youkilis' second home run of the game and 16th of the season with a solo shot sandwiched around two unearned runs by K.C. off Bard.
|Kevin Youkilis goes 3 for 4 with two homers and four RBI to help John Smoltz earn the win. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
Nike Red Sox Navy Blue Team Issue Legend Logo Performance Shop Now!
|Kansas City Royals|
|David DeJesus, CF||3||2||1||0||1||0||2||.256|
|Ryan Freel, RF-2B||5||1||1||1||0||1||4||.169|
|Billy Butler, 1B||4||1||3||3||1||0||1||.293|
|Mark Teahen, 3B||5||0||1||0||0||2||4||.294|
|Jose Guillen, LF||4||2||2||2||0||0||2||.245|
|Mike Jacobs, DH||5||1||2||2||0||3||2||.222|
|Alberto Callaspo, 2B-SS||4||1||1||0||1||1||2||.301|
|Miguel Olivo, C||5||0||1||0||0||3||2||.244|
|Tony Pena Jr., SS||3||1||1||1||0||2||0||.104|
|a- Brayan Pena, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.313|
|Mitch Maier, RF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.211|
|a-struck out for Pena in the 7th|
|2B - Ryan Freel (1, Smoltz), Billy Butler (27, Bard)|
|HR - Jose Guillen (9, Okajima), Mike Jacobs (12, Masterson)|
|SF - Jose Guillen (1)|
|RBI - Ryan Freel (4), Billy Butler 3 (38), Jose Guillen 2 (37), Mike Jacobs 2 (30), Tony Pena Jr. (2)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ryan Freel (3), Billy Butler 2 (17)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|E - Miguel Olivo 2 (6, Throwing), Tony Pena Jr. (5, Throwing)|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Gil Meche (L,4-9)||3.2||6||8||6||3||6||2||4.50|
|IBB - Ellsbury by Jamey Wright, by Kotsay, Varitek by Roman Colon|
|HBP - Drew (by Roman Colon)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Gil Meche 87-53, Ron Mahay 34-20, Jamey Wright 32-12, Roman Colon 39-20|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gil Meche 4-2, Ron Mahay 1-3, Jamey Wright 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Gil Meche 21, Ron Mahay 8, Jamey Wright 8, Roman Colon 10|
|Boston Red Sox|
|J.D. Drew, RF||4||1||1||1||1||2||0||.252|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||6||2||2||1||0||1||6||.300|
|Kevin Youkilis, 3B||4||4||3||4||1||0||0||.296|
|David Ortiz, DH||3||2||1||2||2||1||0||.222|
|Jason Bay, LF||5||1||1||0||0||3||0||.260|
|Jacoby Ellsbury, CF||3||2||1||1||1||1||0||.301|
|Jason Varitek, C||4||3||1||1||1||1||1||.242|
|Mark Kotsay, 1B||2||0||0||0||2||0||0||.269|
|Aaron Bates, PR-1B||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.143|
|Nick Green, SS||4||0||1||2||1||2||1||.260|
|2B - J.D. Drew (17, Meche), Dustin Pedroia (29, Meche), Jason Bay (19, Wright)|
|3B - Dustin Pedroia (1, Meche)|
|HR - Kevin Youkilis 2 (16, Meche, Colon), David Ortiz (12, Mahay), Jason Varitek (13, Meche)|
|SF - Jacoby Ellsbury (3)|
|RBI - J.D. Drew (38), Dustin Pedroia (40), Kevin Youkilis 4 (52), David Ortiz 2 (46), Jacoby Ellsbury (29), Jason Varitek (37), Aaron Bates (1), Nick Green 2 (30)|
|2-OUT RBI - J.D. Drew (14), Dustin Pedroia (16), Kevin Youkilis 2 (24), David Ortiz 2 (19), Jason Varitek (13), Aaron Bates (1), Nick Green 2 (17)|
|SB - Jason Bay (10, 3rd base off Meche/Olivo), Jacoby Ellsbury (39, 2nd base off Colon/Olivo)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Outfield Assists - J.D. Drew 1|
|E - Aaron Bates (1, Missed catch of throw)|
|Boston Red Sox|
|John Smoltz (W,1-2)||5||4||1||1||1||7||0||5.40|
|Hideki Okajima (H,18)||0.1||3||1||1||0||1||1||3.32|
|Daniel Bard (H,1)||2||1||2||0||0||3||0||2.55|
|HBP - DeJesus (by John Smoltz)|
|Pitches-Strikes - John Smoltz 97-63, Justin Masterson 25-18, Manny Delcarmen 10-6, Hideki Okajima 23-15, Daniel Bard 30-26, Takashi Saito 10-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Smoltz 3-5, Manny Delcarmen 1-0, Daniel Bard 3-1, Takashi Saito 1-1|
|Batters Faced - John Smoltz 21, Justin Masterson 6, Manny Delcarmen 3, Hideki Okajima 4, Daniel Bard 8, Takashi Saito 3|
|Attendance - 37825|
|Game Time - 3:44|
|Temperature - 68|
|Umpires - Home - Todd Tichenor, First Base - Jim Joyce, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Derryl Cousins|