Kansas City at Boston

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Kansas City (37-50)0000151209133
Boston (53-34) «33120033x15121

Youkilis' two homers help Smoltz notch first win with Red Sox

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- John Smoltz finally felt as if he contributed to the Boston Red Sox. He doesn't expect it to be for the last time.

Smoltz got his first win for Boston and Kevin Youkilis hit two home runs to lift the Red Sox over the Kansas City Royals 15-9 Saturday night.

"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."

Jason Varitek and David Ortiz also homered for Boston while Youkilis, who had been in a 3 for 30 slump, drove in four runs and scored four as well.

The only real trouble for Smoltz came in the fourth inning after he gave up back-to-back singles to Billy Butler and Mark Teahen, but he retired the next three batters.

"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.

Even with a 9-1 lead, things got dicey for Boston in the sixth when Justin Masterson allowed five straight batters to reach and gave up a two-run shot to Mike Jacobs.

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."

Billy Butler singled in two more runs to cut Boston's lead to 9-6 before Hideki Okajima ended the inning with another strikeout of Teahen.

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.

Notes

  • Meche recorded his 1,000th career strikeout when he struck out Bay in the third.
  • Ortiz recorded his 1,000th hit for Boston when he homered in the fourth.
  • Smoltz made 708 appearances and won 210 games for Atlanta.
  • Hillman was ejected after the seventh inning by home plate umpire Todd Tichenor.
  • Masterson has allowed 12 runs over his last six innings.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Kevin Youkilis goes 3 for 4 with two homers and four RBI to help John Smoltz earn the win.  (AP)
Kevin Youkilis goes 3 for 4 with two homers and four RBI to help John Smoltz earn the win. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

K. Youkilis
AB 4
R 4
H 3
HR 2
RBI 4
Kansas City

B. Butler
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 3
 

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Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, CF3210102 .256
Ryan Freel, RF-2B5111014 .169
Billy Butler, 1B4133101 .293
Mark Teahen, 3B5010024 .294
Jose Guillen, LF4222002 .245
Mike Jacobs, DH5122032 .222
Alberto Callaspo, 2B-SS4110112 .301
Miguel Olivo, C5010032 .244
Tony Pena Jr., SS3111020 .104
   a- Brayan Pena, PH1000012 .313
    Mitch Maier, RF1000000 .211
Totals409139313  
a-struck out for Pena in the 7th
Batting
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
Fielding
E - Miguel Olivo 2 (6, Throwing), Tony Pena Jr. (5, Throwing)
Kansas City Royals
Gil Meche (L,4-9) 3.2686362 4.50
Ron Mahay 2.1111031 4.30
Jamey Wright 0.2233400 4.65
Roman Colon 1.1333221 4.96
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, RF4111120 .252
Dustin Pedroia, 2B6221016 .300
Kevin Youkilis, 3B4434100 .296
David Ortiz, DH3212210 .222
Jason Bay, LF5110030 .260
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF3211110 .301
Jason Varitek, C4311111 .242
Mark Kotsay, 1B2000200 .269
    Aaron Bates, PR-1B1011000 .143
Nick Green, SS4012121 .260
Totals36151213911  
Batting
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
Fielding
Outfield Assists - J.D. Drew 1
E - Aaron Bates (1, Missed catch of throw)
Boston Red Sox
John Smoltz (W,1-2) 5411170 5.40
Justin Masterson 0.1455111 4.98
Manny Delcarmen 0.1100100 2.41
Hideki Okajima (H,18) 0.1311011 3.32
Daniel Bard (H,1) 2120030 2.55
Takashi Saito 1000010 3.52
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
Game Information
Attendance - 37825
Game Time - 3:44
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Todd Tichenor, First Base - Jim Joyce, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Derryl Cousins