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Final: Red Sox 4, Royals 3

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff  August 24, 2012 07:09 PM

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Final, Red Sox 4, Royals 3: Andrew Bailey gets his first save of the season, Jon Lester gets his third straight win as the Sox scratch out their 13th one-run win.

Top of the eighth, Red Sox 4, Royals 3: Jon Lester threw three straight balls to Billy Butler, and on the last one he grabbed at the back of his left leg.

After a mound meeting, Bobby Valentine pulled him and called for Vicente Padilla.

Padilla struck out Jeff Francoeur after giving up a single to Butler, then Valentine called on Andrew Miller, who got Mike Moustakas to pop to short.

Andrew Bailey cleaned up the inning getting Bobby Pena to fly out to center, and will likely come back out in the ninth for a four-out save.

Bottom of the seventh, Red Sox 4, Royals 3: After putting up his third career four-hit game Thursday night, Pedro Ciriaco came up with another clutch hit tonight.

With runners on second and third, down in the count 0-and-2, Ciriaco pulled a change-up to left and Mauro Gomez and Mike Aviles got on their horses.

The two-run double gave the Sox the lead late. He then swiped third (his ninth steal this year).

Tim Collins walked Dustin Pedroia to get to David Ortiz and the lefty-lefty matchup, and it worked.

Even though Ortiz is hitting .314 against lefties this season, he struck out waving at a 1-and-2 changeup.

Top of the seventh, Royals 3, Red Sox 2: This is the 11th time this season Jon Lester's gone seven innings.

He's giving the bullpen a huge break after the Sox used eight arms last night.

If things hold steady this will be Lester's 14th quality start.

Bottom of the sixth, Royals 3, Red Sox 2: With David Ortiz up, the Red Sox had the hitter they wanted at the plate with no outs and Dustin Pedroia on second.

He was so in control of the at bat that he showed bunt with a 2-and-0 count. But Bruce Chen fought back and put a two-strike fastball on the black, and Ortiz couldn't do a thing with it except look.

Chen's up to five strikeouts tonight.

Top of the fifth, Royals 3, Red Sox 2: The only hicucp in an altogether smooth inning was the ground ball that ate up Mauro Gomez at first. But Gomez recovered and made the toss to Jon Lester to get Jeff Francoeur and end the inning.

Bottom of the fourth, Royals 3, Red Sox 2: Bruce Chen works a 1-2-3 inning, fanning Ryan Lavarnway for his third strikeout of the night.

Lavarnway is 6 for 39 since being called up at the beginning of the month, but he's reached base in eight of his 11 starts.

Top of the fourth, Royals 3, Red Sox 2: Jon Lester put himself in a tough spot, giving up a pair of walks and a pair of singles (one in the infield), but a double-play ball allowed him to get out of it and give up just one run in the process.

Bottom of the third, Red Sox 2, Royals 2: Empty frame for the Sox, but David Ortiz brought his rake with him tonight.

He ripped a two-out double to center for his second hit of the night.

Meanwhile, Jacoby Ellsbury was gunned down trying to take second. It was the first time he was caught stealing this season (after eight attempts).

Top of the third, Red Sox 2, Royals 2: Eric Hosmer's "Tony Gwynn SoloHitter" swing just got the better of Jon Lester. He smacked a first-pitch fastball to the Monster seats for his 12th home run of the season, cutting the lead in half.

Alex Gordon tied it up with a two-out Wall double.

Lester settled down and got Butler to ground out to short to end the inning.

Bottom of the second, Red Sox 2, Royals 0: The Sox threatened, but Bruce Chen worked his way out of a first-and-third jam, getting Pedro Ciriaco to pop up to short.

Chen's staying power is slightly amazing. He's made 344 career big league appearances and he currently leads the Royals with 27 starts.

He's already got a win over the Sox this year (May 9) and it was his first over the Sox since 2005.

Top of the second, Red Sox 2, Royals 0: If there's a sign that Jon Lester's getting back to being himself, it's the way he's handling the Royals so far.

They've been his chew toy most of his career (5-2, 1.35 ERA in eight career starts, his lowest ERA against any AL club, and 4-0 against the Royals at Fenway).

He tossed a 1-2-3 inning with all of eight pitches (six strikes).

Bottom of the first, Red Sox 2, Royals 0: Back in the lineup with two on and one out, David Ortiz immediately ripped a bases-clearing single to put the Sox up.

Walking up to Tupac's "All Eyez on Me" after a 35-game absence was a nice touch.

He also extended the hitting streak he had before he went down to 12 games.

Top of the first, Red Sox 0, Royals 0: Jon Lester gets off to strong start, striking out Alex Gordon and Billy Butler in a quick first.

Pregame: The Sox get ready to face the Royals with David Ortiz back in the lineup, but Adrian Gonzalez, who was claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Dodgers has been scratched.

Always something. Feel free to discuss.

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