|Kansas City (61-54) «||1||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||x||4||9||1|
The Royals improved to 18-5 since the All-Star break, winning every series. The last time they won seven straight series was 1991.
"It's huge," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "You can't understate it. The fact of the matter is that's nice, but it doesn't mean anything tomorrow.
"It's big, but you've got to keep plugging. I wouldn't classify it as a statement (series) win. But it's still the team with the best record came in and we won three out of four. We're playing great baseball right now. We just have to maintain our focus on that."
Shields (7-8), who had not won at Kauffman Stadium since an April 30 victory over Tampa Bay, limited the Red Sox to three runs and seven hits over seven innings. He struck out five and walked three.
"I feel like ever since the All-Star break, we've been making a statement," Shields said. "We're here to stay and compete. Our bullpen has been phenomenal. Our defense has been great. We're getting some good timely hitting."
Gordon hit a 2-2 pitch from John Lackey (7-10) out to right in the third inning for his third homer in five games.
"He went through a little down period about a week ago, but the last week he's been really swinging the bat really, really well," Yost said. "The thing about Alex is when he gets hot, he can carry you for a while."
Shane Victorino scored Boston's first run when he doubled in the first, stole third and came home on catcher Salvador Perez's errant pickoff throw.
The Royals scored two runs in the third, with Jarrod Dyson and Lough delivering RBI singles. Dyson's hit drove home Mike Moustakas, who doubled to start the inning. Dyson stole second and scored on Lough's flare to shallow right.
After a rocky start, Lackey lasted seven innings, giving up four runs and seven hits and two walks, while striking out five.
"It was a grind early," Lackey said. "I wasn't feeling really great. I had a couple of 3-2 counts and didn't make my pitch. I was lucky to get the ground ball for the double play in the first and then I found my groove and started to make my pitches."
"For me to walk two in one inning let alone to lead off the game is hard to believe. I didn't execute and I lost the game."
Ryan Lavarnway's two-out single in the sixth scored Daniel Nava and Stephen Drew, trimming the Kansas City lead to 4-3. Drew went 2 for 4 and is hitting .422 in his season-high, 12-game hitting streak.
Nava is convinced the Royals are a playoff contender.
"Of course," Nava said. "Everyone realizes with their offense and pitching it's just a matter of time before they click."
Royals relievers Tim Collins, Aaron Crow and Greg Holland, who earned his 32nd save in 34 opportunities, worked two scoreless innings to protect the one-run lead. The bullpen has allowed one run in 20 innings on this homestand.
|Royals starter James Shields limits the Red Sox to 3 runs and 7 hits over 7 innings, striking out five and walking three. (USATSI)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Boston Red Sox|
|Jacoby Ellsbury, CF||5||0||0||0||0||1||3||.301|
|Shane Victorino, RF||3||1||1||0||0||0||2||.286|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||0||3||.291|
|David Ortiz, DH||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.326|
|Daniel Nava, LF||3||1||1||0||0||1||1||.282|
|Mike Napoli, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||3||2||.249|
|Stephen Drew, SS||4||1||2||0||0||1||2||.255|
|Ryan Lavarnway, C||4||0||2||2||0||0||1||.268|
|Will Middlebrooks, 3B||3||0||1||0||1||2||1||.200|
|a-walked for Nava in the 8th|
|2B - Shane Victorino (18, Shields), Stephen Drew (18, Shields)|
|RBI - Ryan Lavarnway 2 (8)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ryan Lavarnway 2 (5)|
|SB - Shane Victorino (16, 3rd base off Shields/Perez)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Middlebrooks-Pedroia-Napoli|
|Boston Red Sox|
|John Lackey (L,7-10)||7||7||4||4||2||5||1||3.32|
|IBB - Perez by Drake Britton|
|Pitches-Strikes - John Lackey 111-73, Drake Britton 26-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Lackey 8-7, Drake Britton 1-0|
|Batters Faced - John Lackey 29, Drake Britton 6|
|Kansas City Royals|
|David Lough, RF||3||1||1||1||1||0||0||.298|
|Eric Hosmer, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.297|
|Billy Butler, DH||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.286|
|Alex Gordon, LF||4||1||3||2||0||1||0||.271|
|Salvador Perez, C||3||0||1||0||1||0||1||.278|
|Mike Moustakas, 3B||3||1||1||0||1||0||1||.231|
|Alcides Escobar, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||3||.242|
|Jarrod Dyson, CF||4||1||1||1||0||2||5||.257|
|Elliot Johnson, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.184|
|2B - Alex Gordon (19, Britton), Mike Moustakas (18, Lackey)|
|HR - Alex Gordon (13, Lackey)|
|SH - Alcides Escobar (8)|
|RBI - David Lough (26), Alex Gordon 2 (61), Jarrod Dyson (11)|
|2-OUT RBI - David Lough (18), Alex Gordon (23)|
|SB - David Lough (4, 2nd base off Lackey/Lavarnway), Alex Gordon (8, 2nd base off Lackey/Lavarnway), Jarrod Dyson (17, 2nd base off Lackey/Lavarnway)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Moustakas-Johnson-Hosmer, Moustakas-Johnson-Hosmer-Johnson-Escobar-Hosmer|
|E - Salvador Perez (7, Throwing)|
|Kansas City Royals|
|James Shields (W,7-8)||7||7||3||2||3||5||0||3.33|
|Tim Collins (H,19)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||4.14|
|Aaron Crow (H,18)||0.2||0||0||0||1||2||0||2.89|
|Greg Holland (S,32)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||1.57|
|HBP - Victorino (by James Shields)|
|Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 114-65, Tim Collins 7-4, Aaron Crow 18-9, Greg Holland 13-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 7-7, Greg Holland 1-0|
|Batters Faced - James Shields 30, Tim Collins 1, Aaron Crow 3, Greg Holland 3|
|Attendance - 24935|
|Game Time - 2:56|
|Temperature - 86|
|Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Al Porter|