Jonny Gomes hit a go-ahead two-run homer and Xander Bogaerts added a home run as the Boston Red Sox took the opener of a three-game series from visiting Kansas City, 5-4, Friday night at Fenway Park.
Brock Holt singled in a run while Mike Napoli and Stephen Drew recorded two hits apiece for the Red Sox, who have won five of their last six games. Clay Buchholz (5-5) battled through six innings and was charged with four runs on 10 hits before four relievers combined for three scoreless frames, with Koji Uehara taking care of the ninth for his 19th save.
Eric Hosmer drove in a pair of runs among three hits, Omar Infante added three hits and scored twice, and Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon each recorded two hits and an RBI as the Royals fell for the fourth time in five contests. James Shields was reached for four runs — three earned — in 5 2/3 innings while Scott Downs (0-3) surrendered Gomes’ blast to absorb the loss in relief.
Hosmer and Holt traded RBI singles in the first two innings before Kansas City jumped on top with four straight hits to open the fourth, including back-to-back RBI singles from Perez and Gordon to make it 3-1. Hosmer’s two-out RBI single in the fifth pushed the Royals’ lead to 4-1.
Shields was coasting until the sixth, when Daniel Nava reached with a one-out single and Bogaerts snapped a 90 at-bat homerless drought with a two-run blast to center. Drew followed with a ground-rule double and Shields recorded a strikeout before deferring to Downs, who left a 2-2 fastball up that Gomes hammered into the seats in center for a pinch-hit go-ahead blast.
NOTES: The Red Sox could activate RF Shane Victorino (back, hamstring) from the DL today. … Buchholz struck out three without walking a batter and has issued one walk in 35 2/3 innings spanning five starts since coming off the DL. … Gordon (wrist), who sat out the final four games before the break and did not play in the All-Star game, returned to LF and singled twice.