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With trade winds swirling, Red Sox stop losing streak with win over Royals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- David Ortiz returned to the lineup, Adrian Gonzalez left it and the Red Sox broke a four-game losing streak.

It was an eventful night for Boston's top two hitters.

Ortiz was back after missing 35 games with a right Achilles strain and had two hits and two RBI on the first two pitches he saw, sparking Boston to a 4-3 win over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.

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But Gonzalez was pulled from the lineup minutes before the game amid reports that he was part of a major trade being discussed with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"We talked for a little bit," Ortiz said. "He's shocked, like we are a little bit. Adrian wants to be here, that's why he came here, and help this ballclub to win a World Series."

Ortiz already has done that twice, in 2004 and 2007. But the Red Sox went 13-22 while he was sidelined as they dropped to 59-66 before beating the Royals

"David was awesome," said Andrew Bailey, who earned his first save after being sidelined all season until Aug. 14 following right thumb surgery.

"You can't say enough about that guy. And for him to come off the DL and to be such a sparkplug in our offense, he was huge tonight."

Pedro Ciriaco's two-run double in the seventh inning put Boston ahead 4-3, and Jon Lester continued his surge from a poor first-half of the season with seven solid innings.

Lester (8-10) has won his past three starts and seemed fine after leaving with a cramp in his left hamstring with no outs in the top of the eighth. He had thrown three pitches in the inning, all balls.

"I should have said something after pitch one or my warmups," he said.

Lester, who allowed three runs and six hits, felt improvement in his pitching even before his current winning streak.

"I'm just winning. Winning cures everything," he said. "I've been feeling good with the adjustments that we've made. ... I feel like I was headed in the right direction probably five or six starts ago."

Ortiz started the Red Sox scoring with a two-run single in the first off Bruce Chen that drove in Ciriaco and Jacoby Ellsbury, who both singled. Then he doubled with two outs in the third but was stranded.

"He's looking good," Chen said. "I just try and make good pitches, but, obviously, he's one of the best hitters in the American League."

The Red Sox needed Ortiz with Gonzalez not playing.

"I had 10 minutes" before the game to redo the lineup, Boston manager Bobby Valentine said.

In Los Angeles, first baseman James Loney was pulled from the lineup against the Miami Marlins. Gonzalez was leading the Red Sox with 86 RBI, 145 hits and 37 doubles and was first in the majors with a .398 batting average with runners in scoring position.

They would be involved in a trade that was being discussed that would send right-hander Josh Beckett, left fielder Carl Crawford and infielder Nick Punto to Los Angeles, a baseball official informed of the discussions said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcements were made.

Beckett (5-11) was scheduled to pitch for Boston in the second game of the four-game series Saturday night.

Ciriaco continued his surprisingly hot hitting since being called up on July 6 from Triple-A Pawtucket. He went 4 for 6 in a 14-13 loss on Thursday night to the Los Angeles Angels, his third four-hit game of the season, and went 2 for 4 on Friday night.

Trailing 3-2, Boston began the seventh with a walk to Mauro Gomez, who started in place of Gonzalez. Kelvin Herrera (1-2) replaced Chen and gave up a single to Mike Aviles, sending Gomez to second. Scott Podsednik than sacrificed the runners to second and third before Ciriaco blooped his double into short left field.

"The leadoff walk in the seventh and then two 0-2 hits did us in," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "The pitch to Ciriaco was actually not a bad pitch, but it's 0-2, you just threw him a good fastball and you come back with a changeup down and in and he hit it."

The Royals had tied the game at 2 in the third on a leadoff homer by Eric Hosmer, his 12th of the year, and an RBI double by Alex Gordon. They went ahead 3-2 in the fourth on a bases-loaded infield single by Johnny Giavotella after a walk to Mike Moustakas, a single by Brayan Pena and a walk to Hosmer.

"He's obviously not having his kind of a year but he's still got great stuff," Gordon said of Lester. "I thought putting up those runs against him was pretty impressive. We just couldn't finish it."

Notes

  • Jeremy Guthrie (2-3) is scheduled to pitch for Kansas City on Saturday night.
  • In their past 16 games, Boston is 5-11 and Kansas City is 10-6.
  • The win was Boston's first in a one-run game at home since June 21 when it beat Miami 6-5.
 
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 knocks in two runs with a single in his first at-bat since missing 35 games.  (AP)
David Ortiz knocks in two runs with a single in his first at-bat since missing 35 games. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

P. Ciriaco
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Boston

J. Lester
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 3
BB 4
K 6
 
Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Lorenzo Cain, CF5010014 .253
Alcides Escobar, SS2100204 .303
Alex Gordon, LF4021012 .291
Billy Butler, DH4010013 .302
    Jarrod Dyson, PR-DH0000000 .272
Jeff Francoeur, RF4000021 .238
Mike Moustakas, 3B3100101 .249
Brayan Pena, C4010011 .250
Eric Hosmer, 1B3111110 .239
Johnny Giavotella, 2B4011000 .209
Totals3337347  
Batting
2B - Alex Gordon (40, Lester)
HR - Eric Hosmer (12, Lester)
RBI - Alex Gordon (50), Eric Hosmer (50), Johnny Giavotella (7)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Gordon (12)
SB - Jarrod Dyson (24, 2nd base off Padilla/Lavarnway)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Escobar-Hosmer
E - Johnny Giavotella (4, Throwing)
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Bruce Chen 6833150 5.41
Kelvin Herrera (BS,1; L,1-2) 0.1211000 2.66
Tim Collins 0.2000120 3.13
Aaron Crow 1000010 3.53
IBB - Pedroia by Tim Collins
Pitches-Strikes - Bruce Chen 98-65, Kelvin Herrera 7-7, Tim Collins 15-8, Aaron Crow 12-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bruce Chen 6-5, Kelvin Herrera 1-0, Aaron Crow 1-1
Batters Faced - Bruce Chen 25, Kelvin Herrera 3, Tim Collins 3, Aaron Crow 3
Boston Red Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Pedro Ciriaco, 3B4122002 .349
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF4120011 .262
Dustin Pedroia, 2B3010110 .282
David Ortiz, DH4022023 .318
Cody Ross, RF4000003 .271
Ryan Lavarnway, C4010011 .146
Mauro Gomez, 1B3100121 .263
Mike Aviles, SS3110000 .253
Scott Podsednik, LF2010010 .378
Totals31410428  
Batting
2B - Pedro Ciriaco (9, Herrera), Dustin Pedroia (28, Chen), David Ortiz (26, Chen)
SH - Scott Podsednik (5)
RBI - Pedro Ciriaco 2 (14), David Ortiz 2 (60)
SB - Pedro Ciriaco (9, 3rd base off Collins/B. Pena), Dustin Pedroia (12, 2nd base off Collins/B. Pena)
CS - Jacoby Ellsbury (1, 2nd base by Chen/B. Pena)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Aviles-Gomez, Ciriaco-Pedroia-Gomez
E - Mike Aviles (13, Misplayed grounder)
Boston Red Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jon Lester (W,8-10) 7633461 4.98
Vicente Padilla (H,21) 0.1100010 4.32
Andrew Miller (H,13) 0.1000000 2.76
Andrew Bailey (S,1) 1.1000000 2.70
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 96-61, Vicente Padilla 9-7, Andrew Miller 5-3, Andrew Bailey 15-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 11-3, Andrew Bailey 1-3
Batters Faced - Jon Lester 30, Vicente Padilla 2, Andrew Miller 1, Andrew Bailey 4
Game Information
Attendance - 37228
Game Time - 2:54
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Mike Estabrook, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Larry Vanover