KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Jon Lester curbed the Kansas City Royals on three hits for six-plus innings and Jason Varitek tripled for the first time in more than four years as the Boston Red Sox won 6-1 on Sunday.
Carl Crawford and Darnell McDonald hit solo home runs for the Red Sox.
Lester (13-7) has allowed two runs and six hits in 13 innings in his past two starts to beat Kansas City and Tampa Bay. He is 5-1 with a 1.30 ERA in seven career starts against the Royals.
Varitek’s two-out triple rolled to the right-center fence, allowing Jed Lowrie to score in the fifth to break a scoreless
deadlock. Lowrie led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a Crawford ground out. Varitek’s triple was his first since June 24, 2007 at San Diego off Jake Peavy.
McDonald, who had three hits, hit his fifth home run of the season in the sixth on an 0-2 pitch from Royals rookie left-hander Danny Duffy (3-7). Aaron Crow gave up a home run to Crawford, his eighth, in the seventh inning.
Ryan Lavarnway, Adrian Gonzalez and Jed Lowrie had RBIs in the eighth as the Red Sox scored three runs off Louis Coleman, one of four rookie pitchers the Royals used.
Duffy gave up two runs on five hits in six innings, while striking out three and walking two. He has lost four August starts
since a July 31 victory at Cleveland.
Johnny Giavotella led off the Royals seventh with a triple and scored on Mike Moustakas’ single for the only run off Lester. He was replaced by Daniel Bard after 113 pitches with two runners on base. Bard retired the next three hitters.
The Royals loaded the bases on two walks and a Lowrie error in the second, but Lester retired Alcides Escobar on a comeback to end the inning.
Lester, who no-hit the Royals on May 19, 2008, did not allow a hit until Perez’s single with two out in the fourth.
Notes: CF Jacoby Ellsbury was out of the Boston lineup for the second straight game with a contusion in his back after being hit by a pitch Friday. It is questionable whether Ellsbury will return Monday when the Red Sox open a four-game series at Texas. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense to get him back out there too early,” manager Terry Francona said. “He’s still pretty sore.” The Royals are off Monday before playing 17 of their next 20 games on the road. RHP Bobby Jenks, who has been on the disabled list twice this season with back tightness, is scheduled to throw 20 to 30 pitches
Monday in a simulated game at the Red Sox complex in Fort Myers, Fla. … DH David Ortiz, who has missed the past seven games with bursitis in his right heel, is hitting off the tee and soft toss in the cages, but is still wearing a boot on his foot. … Red Sox LHP Erik Bedard, who starts Monday, is winless in his past eight starts against the Rangers, although he has allowed three earned runs or less in each of his previous four starts. … Royals LHP Tim Collins got the final out of the eighth on his 22nd birthday.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)