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Kansas City at Boston

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Kansas City (44-61) «000400000470
Boston (64-39)002000010381

Royals split with BoSox; Pedroia's hitting streak at 25

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON - When the ball left Carl Crawford's bat, Jeff Francoeur thought it was going over the short wall in right field. And he was prepared to go into the stands after it.

Francoeur turned his back to the plate and headed for the fence, only to turn around after the ball got caught in the breeze and make a basket catch that ended Boston's final threat Thursday.

"Good thing there's no Green Monster in right field," Francoeur said, "or we'd be talking about a 5-4 Red Soxwin."

Instead, Joakim Soria retired Yamaico Navarro for the final out, and the Kansas City Royals left Boston with 4-3 victory over the Red Sox. Billy Butler homered for the third straight game and Luke Hochevar pitched seven strong innings to help the Royals, last in the AL Central, split the four-game series with the AL East-leading Red Sox.

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Hochevar (7-8) allowed two runs on six hits and a walk while matching his season high for strikeouts with six. He retired 14 of the last 16 batters he faced and gave up just one extra-base hit, a third inning double by Navarro.

"He was dynamite," manager Ned Yost said. "Just dynamite."

Hochevar left with a 4-2 lead, and Dustin Pedroia led off the eighth with a high home run over the Green Monster on a 3-2 pitch from Greg Holland. But Holland got Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz on groundouts to end the inning, and Soria came on to pitch the ninth.

With one out, Drew Sutton lined a hit off Soria's glove for a single, then pinch-hitter Crawford hit a long fly ball to the warning track in right.

"I thought it was gone," Francoeur said. "That's why I put my head down and just started running. ... I wasn't worried about catching it. I was thinking about getting back to the wall."

Francoeur turned around and caught it in the middle of the warning track, and Soria struck out Navarro to earn his 19th save.

"I was getting up to celebrate," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "I thought he got plenty, then the wind knocked it down."

Josh Beckett (9-4) lost for the first time in a month, giving up four runs -- three earned -- on five hits and three walks while striking out eight. The Red Sox had won six of their last seven games to move to a season-high three games ahead of the second-place New York Yankees in the AL East before Thursday's loss.

Boston took a 2-0 lead in the third when Jason Varitek singled, Navarro doubled and they both scored on a single by Jacoby Ellsbury. But the Royals went ahead in the fourth when Beckett gave up back-to-back walks to start the inning and Butler followed with his 10th homer of the season, to straightaway center field.

After Francoeur reached on a two-base error, Beckett gave up Mike Moustakas' RBI double to make it 4-2.

Pedroia led off the eighth inning with a home run over the Green Monster to cut the lead to one run and extend his hitting streak to 25 games; he has reached base in 37 consecutive games.

Notes

  • Eric Hosmer, a rookie, extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single to lead off the second.
  • The Red Sox went without a hit from Gonzalez's single in the third until Drew Sutton led off the seventh with a blooper to center.
  • Pedroia's hitting streak is the longest ever for a Red Sox second baseman.
 
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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Billy Butler homers for the third straight game for Kansas City, which leaves Fenway with a split of the four-game set. (AP)
Billy Butler homers for the third straight game for Kansas City, which leaves Fenway with a split of the four-game set. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

J. Ellsbury
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
Kansas City

B. Butler
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Alex Gordon, LF3100211 .298
Mitch Maier, CF4100133 .254
Billy Butler, DH4113000 .294
Eric Hosmer, 1B4010000 .286
Jeff Francoeur, RF3100101 .269
Mike Moustakas, 3B3011111 .201
Matt Treanor, C4010021 .228
Chris Getz, 2B3020001 .256
Alcides Escobar, SS3010012 .245
Totals3147458  
Batting
2B - Mike Moustakas (5, Beckett)
HR - Billy Butler (10, Beckett)
SH - Chris Getz (12), Alcides Escobar (11)
RBI - Billy Butler 3 (49), Mike Moustakas (10)
SB - Jeff Francoeur (17, 2nd base off Morales/Varitek), Alcides Escobar (15, 2nd base off Albers/Varitek)
CS - Chris Getz (7, 2nd base by Albers/Varitek)
Team LOB - 7
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Luke Hochevar (W,7-8) 7622160 5.15
Greg Holland (H,8) 1111001 1.36
Joakim Soria (S,19) 1100010 3.48
Pitches-Strikes - Luke Hochevar 103-68, Greg Holland 21-13, Joakim Soria 15-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Luke Hochevar 10-5, Greg Holland 3-0, Joakim Soria 1-1
Batters Faced - Luke Hochevar 28, Greg Holland 4, Joakim Soria 4
Boston Red Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF4012011 .325
Dustin Pedroia, 2B3111101 .308
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B4020001 .352
Kevin Youkilis, 3B4000013 .276
David Ortiz, DH4000012 .301
Josh Reddick, RF4000010 .345
Drew Sutton, LF4020000 .308
Jason Varitek, C3110021 .237
   a- Carl Crawford, PH1000001 .247
Yamaico Navarro, SS4110012 .222
Totals3538317  
a-flied out for Varitek in the 9th
Batting
2B - Yamaico Navarro (2, Hochevar)
HR - Dustin Pedroia (15, Holland)
RBI - Jacoby Ellsbury 2 (62), Dustin Pedroia (54)
SB - Dustin Pedroia (21, 2nd base off Hochevar/Treanor)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Pedroia-Navarro-Gonzalez
PB - Jason Varitek (5)
E - Drew Sutton (3, Dropped line drive)
Boston Red Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Josh Beckett (L,9-4) 7543381 2.17
Franklin Morales 1000100 4.23
Matt Albers 1200100 2.09
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Beckett 109-72, Franklin Morales 12-7, Matt Albers 16-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Beckett 7-6, Franklin Morales 1-2
Batters Faced - Josh Beckett 29, Franklin Morales 4, Matt Albers 5
Game Information
Attendance - 37822
Game Time - 2:51
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Gary Cederstrom, First Base - Adrian Johnson, Second Base - Chris Conroy, Third Base - Lance Barksdale