Royals' Santana does a tune on Sox
Ervin Santana picked up the win, improving to 2-1. He went seven innings, giving up two runs and six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. He is the first pitcher to hold the Sox to two or fewer runs without allowing a walk since Tampa Bay's David Price did so on Sept. 25, 2012.
"It took him two innings to get settled in, then he was really rolling from that point on," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Struggled with his slider a little bit early, but then it got locked in pretty good and did a real great job."
After a leadoff single by Will Middlebrooks in the second inning, Santana retired 17 of the final 18 batters he faced. David Ortiz had Boston's only hit in that stretch with a sixth-inning double.
"I was leaving a couple of pitches up in the first inning and after that I settled down," Santana said. "It's building a little bit. I feel comfortable every time I take the mound and I have confidence."
Ryan Dempster took the loss, falling to 0-2. He went seven innings, giving up four runs and six hits, including a home run, and three walks with eight strikeouts.
Kansas City scored first on Alcides Escobar's first-inning home run, his second homer of the season.
Boston went ahead in the bottom of the first when Daniel Nava, Dustin Pedroia and Ortiz hit consecutive one-out singles and Mike Napoli's groundout drove in a run.
But the Royals responded with three runs in the fourth. Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer opened the inning with back-to-back singles. Butler scored on Lorenzo Cain's double. After Dempster struck out Mike Moustakas and Jeff Francoeur, Salvador's Perez single to center scored Hosmer and Cain, giving the Royals a 4-2 lead.
"I thought (Dempster) pitched with equal effectiveness as he has with each of his starts this season," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "They bunched those four hits in that fourth inning. After the three consecutive hits, he gets two strikeouts and nearly gets out of the inning."
In his second game back from the disabled list, Ortiz went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI. He is now 5 for 8 with a double and two RBI in two games. But he's not satisfied with his performance.
"I'm battling right now," Ortiz said. "Trying to do too much. Haven't faced good pitching for months. I'm not going to lie to you, I don't feel good at the plate right now."
Greg Holland pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save.
NOTES: With his second-inning single, Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 10 games. ... With his first-inning single, Pedroia extended a streak of reaching base safely to all 17 games this season and 27 straight going back to Sept. 21, 2012. He is the first Red Sox player to reach base in the team's first 17 games of a season since Manny Ramirez did it in the first 23 games in 2001. ... Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino left Saturday's game with lower back tightness and was not available for either game on Sunday. ... With a fourth-inning RBI double, Cain extended his hitting streak to five games. He has hit safely in 10 of his past 11 games, batting .475, going 19 for 40 with five doubles, a home run, six RBI, and six multi-hit games in that stretch. He grounded out in his first at-bat snapping his streak of hits in seven consecutive at-bats. ... Dempster snapped Red Sox starting pitchers' streak of allowing just three or fewer runs at 16 games this season. He gave up four runs. ... Boston right-hander John Lackey, on the disabled list since April 7 with a biceps strain, is scheduled to make a rehab start for double-A Portland today.
... It was just the third win for the Royals in their last seven games after starting the season with a 6-3 record. ... Salvador Perez has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, going 13 for 40 with three doubles and five RBI in that span. ... Holland converted his fourth save in five chances this season.