Red Sox take care of Royals, 8-1

Game over: Red Sox 8, Royals 1

Nice tidy game for the 29-23 Sox. Good pitching, timely hitting and even fairly quick at 2:46. That’s seven wins in the last nine games and 10 of the last 13.

Back later with a report from the clubhouse.

Top of the 9th: Red Sox 8, Royals 1

Varitek homered off Dusty Hughes. It was his seventh of the season. Now Joe Nelson in to get the final three outs.

Middle of the 8th: Red Sox 7, Royals 1

MDC allowed a one-out single by Butler but came back to strike out Guillen. Sox three outs away from a series split and a well-earned day off. The Rays are losing to the White Sox but the Yankees have rallied to take a lead on the Indians.

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Top of the 8th: Red Sox 7, Royals 1

Ortiz drew a walk in the bottom of the 7th but that was it for the Sox. As expected, Lester is done and Manny Delcarmen is in.

Lester’s line: 7 innings, 4 hits, 1 run (earned), 4 walks, 5 strikeouts. 105 pitches/ 65 strikes.

Middle of the 7th: Red Sox 7, Royals 1

Lester allowed a one-out infield single by Pena before walking Betancourt. But Maier groiunded to first before Bloomquist flied to center. Lester has thrown 105 pitches and with a six-run lead, that should be it for him. Good chance to save some bullets.

Top of the 7th: Red Sox 7, Royals 1

Big inning for the Sox. Varitek and Hall started it with singles. Cameron then drove a pitch high off the wall for a two-run double, his first two RBIs of the season. Scutaro (3 for 4) followed with an RBI single and that was that for Thompson.

Now Victor Marte is on for the Royals.

Sox have scored five of their runs today with two outs. The bottom third of the order — Varitek, Hall and Cameron — are 6 of 8 with five runs scored.

Middle of the 6th: Red Sox 4, Royals 1

Lester had retired 10 straight before Butler singled with two outs. Guillen then grounded to third and Beltre forced Butler at second.

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More on Ortiz: He hit his 11th homer on July 9 last season. He also has 26 RBI in 23 games this month and is 29 of 80 (.363) at the plate with 14 extra-base hits.

Top of the 6th: Red Sox 4, Royals 1

Hey, Brad Thompson. Eric Stratton, rush chairman. Damn glad to meet you.

Hall singled and went to third when Cameron doubled. A Scutaro grounder drove in one run. Then with two outs, Ortiz drove a 1-1 fastball over the wall in dead center for his 11th home run.

Ortiz has hit in eight straight games at 10 of 26 with nine RBI and six extra-base hits. Beyond that, his personality has returned. He’s cracking jokes, chatting up the media, busting on staff members, doing all the “Big Papi” things that were missing in April when he was struggling.

Three-run lead for Lester in the sixth inning. Sox need to lock this one away and enjoy their day off.

Middle of the 5th: Royals 1, Red Sox 1

Lester had another easy inning and has now retired eight straight. Props to Chen, who is done after four innings. He threw 75 pitches — 35 more than he had in any of his relief appearances this season. Now the Sox will see what they can do with righthander Brad Thompson

Top of the 5th: Royals 1, Red Sox 1

Chen had a 1-2-3 inning. He has allowed two hits and two walks through four innings. The Red Sox should be ashamed of themselves.

Middle of the 4th: Royals 1, Red Sox 1

Easy inning for Lester, two groundouts and a fly ball. Chen back out there having thrown 59 pitches, 19 more than he thrown at any point this season. Might the Sox pounce now?

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Top of the 4th: Royals 1, Red Sox 1

Cameron led off the inning with a walk and went to third when Scutaro doubled. But the Sox scored only one run. McDonald popped up a 3-1 pitch. Ortiz then delivered a sacrifice fly to left before Youkilis popped to right.

Middle of the 3rd: Royals 1, Red Sox 0

Maier started the inning with a double off the wall then took third them Bloomquist grounded out. But Lester worked around it. After Aviles walked, DeJesus and Butler struck out.

Lester has issues 12 walks in his last 25 innings. That’s not a lot compared to most pitchers. But he averaged 2.8 walks per nine innings last season and it’s 3.8 this season.

Top of the 3rd: Royals 1, Red Sox 0

Sox just went in order against Chen. He has thrown 34 pitches and may only have an inning or so left.

Middle of the 2nd: Royals 1, Red Sox 0

As good as he has been, Jon Lester is walking too many batters. He walked Butler to start the inning. A ground-rule double by Callaspo and a grounder to short by Pena gave the Royals the lead.

Top of the 2nd: Royals 0, Red Sox 0

The Red Sox just helped Bruce Chen through an inning. Scutaro started it with a double. But inexplicably, McDonald bunted. He has a .997 OPS against lefties and he bunted with a runner on second?

With Scutaro at third, Ortiz walked. Then Youkilis struck out and Beltre grounded into a force.

Also, Casey Kelly posted on his Twitter page that Ryan Westmoreland was in the clubhouse in Portland today. That’s good to hear.

Middle of the 1st: Royals 0, Red Sox 0

Lester walked Bloomquist. But after Aviles flied to center, Bloomquist was thrown out stealing. DeJesus then struck out swinging.

In case you are wondering, the “dumb-ass” (Terry Francona’s term) white hats the Red Sox are wearing are a MLB marketing scheme for Memorial Day. Since they’re not playing tomorrow, they have to wear them today.

The white hats have the “B” logo in stars and stripes. They could just put a flag patch on the regular hat but you can’t sell flag patches.

Francona cracked that the Sox look like they’re selling ice cream. I think it’s more of a slow-pitch softball look. Either way, it’s a terrible hat.

Top of the 1st: Royals 0, Red Sox 0

Jon Lester is warming up and we’re ready to get going. It’s a great day for baseball. Hope you’re enjoying the game somewhere today and please feel free to leave your comments.

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