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Double Digit Delight,Again

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Dustin Pedroia, Brayan Pena

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BOSTON (AP) _ David Ortiz hit a grand slam to cap a five-run
fourth inning and Dustin Pedroia extended his career-best hitting
streak to 24 games with a solo homer, carrying the Boston Red Sox
to a 12-5 win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.
Jacoby Ellsbury homered leading off the first inning for the Red
Sox, who won for the 19th time in 23 games and scored in double
digits for the second straight night.

Pedroia, who went 4 for 5 in Tuesday’s 13-9 win, added two
singles and a sacrifice fly. Adrian Gonzalez had three hits and
three RBIs to raise his major-league leading total to 87.
Eric Hosmer hit a three-run homer and Billy Butler added a solo
shot for the Royals.

Like Tuesday’s loss, Kansas City blew an early lead. After
Hosmer’s homer put the Royals up 3-0 in the first, Boston scored
two runs in the bottom of the inning and three in the second before
breaking it open in the fourth against starter Bruce Chen (5-4).

John Lackey (9-8) won his fourth straight start, allowing four
runs _ three earned _ and 11 hits, walking one and striking out
three in 5 2-3 innings.

Boston had 16 hits, reaching double digits for the 11th straight
home game.

Ellsbury and Pedroia, Boston’s first two batters, homered. It
was the first time since July 21, 1995, that the first two Red Sox
homered.

Ellsbury’s caromed off the Pesky Pole in right and Pedroia hit
his into the Green Monster seats, extending his career-best streak,
the longest by a second baseman in club history.

In the second, Ellsbury drew a bases-loaded walk, Pedroia had a
sacrifice fly and Gonzalez’s run-scoring grounder made it 5-3.
The Red Sox broke it open with the five-run fourth that was
highlighted by Ortiz’s slam. Pedroia, Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis
singled before Ortiz belted his 10th career slam _ ninth with the
Red Sox _ over Boston’s bullpen, tying him with Rico Petrocelli for
second all-time in club history behind Ted Williams’ 17. Yamaico
Navarro had an RBI single earlier in the inning.

With the slam, Ortiz reached 1,000 RBIs with Boston.
Chen was tagged for 10 runs and 10 hits in four innings.
Bulter’s homer made it 10-4 in the fifth.

Notes: Pedroia’s hitting streak is the AL’s longest this season.
He broke a tie with Del Pratt’s 23-gamer in 1922. … Gordon had a
career-high three doubles. … Red Sox 3B Youkilis, who missed
Tuesday’s game with a strained right hamstring, was not in the
original lineup but came in and told manager Terry Francona he felt
fine. “He came in and said `There’s no reason for me not to
play,”’ Francona said. … Hosmer came into the game 15 for 30 in
the last seven. … Boston third-base coach Tim Bogar was hit in
the back of the helmet’s by Pedroia’s foul liner in the second,
sending the helmet flying, but he put it back on, smiled and didn’t
need to be checked out on the field. … Chen had allowed one run
or less in three of his five starts since coming off the DL on June
24. … Francona rested struggling LF Carl Crawford with the lefty
Chen starting. “It was a good night,” the manager said. “He
hasn’t had much success against this guy.” Crawford was 1 for 11
in the first two games of the series, 0 for 6 with four strikeouts
Monday. … The Royals blew three leads in Tuesday’s loss.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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