BOSTON (AP) _ Pedro Ciriaco put Boston ahead with a two-run double in the seventh inning, Jon Lester had his third straight solid start and the Red Sox snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.

The victory capped a day in which the Red Sox and the Dodgers discussed a major trade that would send Adrian Gonzalez, Boston’s best hitter, to Los Angeles.

Minutes before the game, Gonzalez was scratched from the lineup.

In Los Angeles, first baseman James Loney was pulled from the lineup against the Miami Marlins. Gonzalez was leading the Red Sox with 86 RBIs, 145 hits and 37 doubles and was first in the majors with a .398 batting average with runners in scoring position.

They would be involved in a trade that was being discussed that would send right-hander Josh Beckett, left fielder Carl Crawford and infielder Nick Punto to Los Angeles, a baseball official informed of the discussions said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcements were made.

Beckett (5-11) was scheduled to pitch for Boston in the second game of the four-game series Saturday night.

Ciriaco continued his surprisingly hot hitting since being called up on July 6 from Triple-A Pawtucket. He went 4 for 6 in a 14-13 loss on Thursday night to the Los Angeles Angels, his third four-hit game of the season, and went 2 for 4 on Friday night.

Trailing 3-2, Boston began the seventh with a walk to Mauro Gomez, who started in place of Gonzalez. Kevin Herrera (1-2) replaced Bruce Chen and gave up a single to Mike Aviles, sending Gomez to second. Scott Podsednik than sacrificed the runners to second and third before Ciriaco blooped his double into short left field.

Lester (8-10) allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings for his third win in three starts. He left the game after going to a 3-0 count against Billy Butler leading off the eighth. The left-hander grabbed the back of his left leg, was checked by
medical personnel and walked slowly to the dugout.

Andrew Bailey got the last four outs for his first save of the season.

David Ortiz, activated Friday after 35 games on the disabled list, started the Red Sox scoring with a two-run single in the
first that drove in Ciriaco and Jacoby Ellsbury, who also had singled.

The Royals tied the game in the third on a leadoff homer by Eric Hosmer, his 12th of the year, and an RBI double by Alex Gordon.

They went ahead 3-2 in the fourth on a bases-loaded infield single by Johnny Giavotella after a walk to Mike Moustakas, a single by Bryan Pena and a walk to Hosmer.

Notes: Jeremy Guthrie (2-3) is scheduled to pitch for Kansas City in the second game of the series Saturday night.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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