KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Bruce Chen picked up his first victory
of the season, Alcides Escobar drove in the go-ahead run and the
Kansas City Royals held off the Boston Red Sox 4-3 Wednesday night.
Jonathan Broxton worked around a leadoff single and walk in the
ninth inning for his seventh save in eight opportunities.

The Royals finished 4-3 on their homestand against Boston and
the New York Yankees. The Red Sox have lost seven of eight.
Chen (1-4) gave up three runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings
while striking out five and walking none. The Royals were winless
in his first six starts this season.

The Royals beat Jon Lester (1-3) for the first time since Aug.
8, 2006. The left-hander came into the game with a 5-1 record and
1.30 ERA in seven career starts against Kansas City, including a
no-hitter in 2008.

Escobar’s double in the fourth Irving Falu, who led off the
inning with a double, to put the Royals ahead 4-3.
Lester’s pitch count rose early with a 38-pitch first inning,
but 12 of those were after center fielder Marlon Byrd’s error led
to three unearned runs.

Lester was pulled after 108 pitches and five innings, giving up
four runs on six hits and a walk.

In the first inning, Byrd misjudged Johnny Giavotella’s two-out
liner and the ball ricocheted off his glove as he jumped for it.
The misplay allowed Billy Butler, who had walked, to score.
Brayan Pena then hit a two-run double to left-center that Cody
Ross nearly caught. Ross had his glove on the ball, but it came
loose and hit the wall. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine debated
Ross held onto the ball long enough _ the umpires held a conference
on the field, but did not change the ruling.

Adrian Gonzalez hit a three-run double in the Boston third,
driving in Byrd, Ryan Sweeney and Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia’s single
extended his hitting streak to a season-high 10 games.

NOTES: Chen had not beaten the Red Sox since July 9, 2005, while
with Baltimore. … The Royals called up Giavotella, who was
hitting .483 in May and .331 in 31 games with Triple-A Omaha. They
placed LHP Jonathan Sanchez on the disabled list with biceps
tendinitis. … 1B Eric Hosmer, who is hitting .111 in the past 11
games, was not in the Royals’ lineup for the first time this
season. … Boston 3B Kevin Youkilis, who is on the disabled list
with a lower back strain, is penciled in for some baseball activity
Thursday when the Red Sox return home. … OF Jeff Francoeur, who
has no home runs and five RBIs, batted cleanup for the Royals for
the first time this season.

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


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