Boston at Kansas City

Scoreboard
Boston (91-61) «00130101410150
Kansas City (63-90)0000000303105

Ortiz, Buchholz help Red Sox trim magic number to three

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Head congested, body weak, sneezes machine-gunning from his nose, Clay Buchholz figured it was going to be a tough night.

Turned out to be just like the rest of his outings over the past two months.

Buchholz shook off a head cold to take a shutout into the seventh inning, and David Ortiz homered and drove in three runs to help the Boston Red Sox move closer to the postseason with a 10-3 victory against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night.

 Playoff Race

"I was expecting to have to battle through, especially after the first inning," Buchholz said after his second scoreless outing this season. "I threw some good pitches that got hit, left some pitches up and was able to bounce back the next inning and got on a pretty good roll."

So are the Red Sox.

Boston had 15 hits and has won 12 of 15, lowering its magic number for clinching the AL wild card to three. The Red Sox did it, as usual, with production throughout the lineup.

Ortiz hit his second homer in two games in the fourth inning, added a two-run single in the ninth. Jacoby Ellsbury had four hits and two RBI. Victor Martinez extended his hitting streak to 23 games and Dustin Pedroia pushed his to 16 games.

Next up? A weekend road series against the AL East-leading Yankees.

"Every game is important now," Martinez said.

Royals starter Anthony Lerew (0-1) had a solid return to the majors and Billy Butler hit a two-run homer for Kansas City. The rest of the Royals unraveled around them with five errors -- two by shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt - six unearned runs and two ejections.

It's nothing new: Kansas City has 110 errors, second-worst in the AL.

"Poor focus and concentration," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "Obviously, with the numbers of errors we've had, it's disappointing, especially when we had a chance to win three out of four from this club. It's disappointing we had the letdown from a defensive standpoint."

Buchholz (7-3) has solidified his spot in Boston's postseason rotation, going 6-0 over his past eight starts after an uneven start to the season.

The right-hander shook off the effects of a head cold that started Tuesday, retiring 13 straight batters after working out of a two-on, one-out jam in the first inning. He allowed five hits and struck out eight with no walks in 6 2/3 innings.

"He didn't have his best curveball tonight, but that didn't get in the way -- he used other pitches," said Red Sox manager, who moved past Mike Higgins for second on Boston's all-time list with win No. 561. "He's a pretty solid pitcher."

The Royals gave Buchholz plenty of help with a flurry of errors and ejections.

Third baseman Mark Teahen had a fielding error in the third that led to a run, then Betancourt booted one in the fourth that allowed Mike Lowell to score. Pedroia later added a sacrifice fly to put Boston up 4-0.

Betancourt had another fielding error in the eighth that scored a run and second baseman Alberto Callaspo had one in the ninth for another run that put Boston up 8-3. It was Kansas City's first five-error game since Sept. 6, 2002, against Seattle.

Royals ace Zack Greinke got the hook first, tossed from the bench by plate umpire Greg Gibson in the third after Lerew's 1-2 pitch to Ellsbury was called a ball.

Hillman was sent off the next inning after Lerew nearly hit Lowell with back-to-back breaking balls and Gibson warned both benches. Hillman had to be separated from Gibson by crew chief Tim McClelland, then lingered on the field for several minutes before finally leaving.

"I thought it was very poor judgment because there's got to be intent," Hillman said. "Both were secondary pitches with velocity of 76 and 78 mph. You don't have any intent with a secondary pitch that slips."

The outbursts and outtakes spoiled Lerew's return to the big leagues after a two-year absence.

Back from Tommy John surgery, the right-hander kept Boston's bashers offbalance most of the night with a mix of low-90s fastballs and off-speed pitches. Even the home run by Ortiz wasn't a mistake: Boston's slugger reached down for a 1-2 pitch near his ankles and yanked it out to right-center for his 26th homer.

Lerew allowed two earned runs -- four total -- on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings.

"It wasn't as good as I wanted it to be," Lerew said after his first start since May 19, 2007, with Atlanta. "I made some good pitches. I just didn't get some calls."

Notes

  • Red Sox 1B Kevin Youkilis and RF J.D. Drew were given the night off.
  • With the 2-2 split, Kansas City failed in its bid to win five consecutive series for the first time since 1993.
 
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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David Ortiz collects three hits, including his 26th homer, and three RBI in the win.  (AP)
David Ortiz collects three hits, including his 26th homer, and three RBI in the win. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

D. Ortiz
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
Kansas City

B. Butler
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF6231010 .303
    Joey Gathright, LF0000000 .278
Dustin Pedroia, 2B5222000 .301
    Jed Lowrie, 3B0000000 .158
Victor Martinez, C5020104 .299
Jason Bay, LF4000124 .265
    Brian Anderson, LF-CF1100001 .236
David Ortiz, DH5133102 .237
    George Kottaras, PR-DH0000000 .227
Mike Lowell, 3B2110201 .291
    Chris Woodward, PR-3B^2B2000001 .221
Casey Kotchman, 1B4120124 .274
Josh Reddick, RF5000024 .200
Alex Gonzalez, SS5220013 .241
Totals441015668  
Batting
2B - Dustin Pedroia (46, Yabuta), David Ortiz (33, Wright), Casey Kotchman (23, Lerew), Alex Gonzalez (22, Wright)
HR - David Ortiz (26, Lerew)
SF - Dustin Pedroia (5)
RBI - Jacoby Ellsbury (60), Dustin Pedroia 2 (67), David Ortiz 3 (91)
2-OUT RBI - David Ortiz 2 (40)
SB - Jacoby Ellsbury 2 (66, 2nd base off Lerew/Olivo, 2nd base off Wright/Olivo), Alex Gonzalez (2, 3rd base off Yabuta/Olivo)
Team LOB - 14
Fielding
DP - Kotchman-A. Gonzalez-Saito
Boston Red Sox
Clay Buchholz (W,7-3) 6.2500080 3.21
Ramon Ramirez 0.2333001 3.06
Takashi Saito 1.2200120 2.36
HBP - Butler (by Clay Buchholz)
Pitches-Strikes - Clay Buchholz 109-69, Ramon Ramirez 20-12, Takashi Saito 28-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clay Buchholz 8-4, Takashi Saito 1-1
Batters Faced - Clay Buchholz 26, Ramon Ramirez 5, Takashi Saito 7
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, LF3000000 .281
    Josh Anderson, CF2000010 .238
Mitch Maier, CF-LF5120010 .256
Billy Butler, 1B3122000 .301
Mike Jacobs, DH4110033 .229
Alberto Callaspo, 2B4010002 .300
Mark Teahen, RF4010010 .269
Miguel Olivo, C3011110 .252
Alex Gordon, 3B4020011 .230
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS3000013 .240
   a- Luis Hernandez, PH1000010 .169
Totals363103110  
a-struck out for Betancourt in the 9th
Batting
HR - Billy Butler (19, Ramirez)
RBI - Billy Butler 2 (87), Miguel Olivo (65)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Gordon-Callaspo-Butler
E - Yuniesky Betancourt 2 (15, Misplayed grounder), Alberto Callaspo (17, Misplayed grounder), Alex Gordon (9, Misplayed grounder), Miguel Olivo (8, Throwing)
Kansas City Royals
Anthony Lerew (L,0-1) 4.2742321 3.86
Yasuhiko Yabuta 2.1311130 11.81
Kyle Farnsworth 1210120 4.50
Jamey Wright 1341110 4.56
WP - Kyle Farnsworth (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Anthony Lerew 108-66, Yasuhiko Yabuta 56-35, Kyle Farnsworth 35-21, Jamey Wright 30-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Anthony Lerew 4-9, Yasuhiko Yabuta 1-3, Kyle Farnsworth 2-0, Jamey Wright 2-1
Batters Faced - Anthony Lerew 25, Yasuhiko Yabuta 11, Kyle Farnsworth 7, Jamey Wright 8
Game Information
Attendance - 20807
Game Time - 3:38
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Ted Barrett