But the Sox Sunday did just fine with their no-name, dirt-dog lineup.
First baseman Loney, acquired from the Dodgers, had a big hit in his debut with that single up the middle in the fifth that tied the score at 4.
The Sox broke that 4-4 deadlock with an unearned run in the sixth. Designated hitter Mauro Gomez reached on an error by Escobar. An Aviles single to left knocked Royals starter Will Smith out of the game. After two outs, Ellsbury reached on an infield hit off second baseman Johnny Giavotella’s glove to score Gomez.
The Sox had bounced out to a 2-0 lead after two innings. In the first, after a Ciriaco leadoff single and a one-out double by Pedroia, Cody Ross singled to left to score the first run.
In the second, Aviles doubled in Gomez (walk).
Doubront couldn’t hold the lead, as has been a trait of Sox pitchers of late. He got into two-out difficulty in the fourth, allowing singles to Giavotella and Hosmer, before Saturday night’s hero, Abreu, singled in Kansas City’s first run.
Doubront couldn’t stop the bleeding there. Cain stepped up and stroked a three-run homer, a hard-liner in to the Monster seats to give the Royals a 4-2 lead.
The Sox tied it in the fifth, scoring two runs against Smith on Ciriaco’s line-drive homer to left and Loney’s single.
Nick Cafardo can be reached at Cafardo@Globe.com or on Twitter @nickcafardo