for this game

Butler, Buck help Royals batter Red Sox

Jul 18, 2007 - 4:14 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- One night after getting shut down by a rookie they had never seen, the Kansas City Royals beat the oldest pitcher in the Boston Red Sox rotation.

Leo Nunez held the Red Sox to one run over four-plus innings in his first major league start while rookies Tony Pena and Alex Gordon provided the offense with three hits apiece as the Royals prevailed, 9-3, at Fenway Park.

Jimmy Gobble (4-1) came out of the bullpen to help Nunez out of a jam in the fifth and earned the win. John Buck and Billy Butler each chipped in with two-run doubles for the Royals, who improved to 2-3 on their current nine-game road trip.

Four Kansas City relievers helped protect the lead.

"Jimmy (Gobble) came in and got a couple of outs for us," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "Zack (Greinke) did a nice job. If we can get to our bullpen and we can line them up the way they need to be lined up then we're pretty good.

"You don't expect to use five in a 9-3 game, but we pretty much understood we needed to do that before the game anyway."

For the second straight night, a Boston starter faced the minimum through three innings. Tim Wakefield held the Royals hitless until Pena's clean single to left field with two outs in the third. Pena was immediately erased when he was caught stealing to end the inning.

"He was dealing," said Kansas City's Reggie Sanders, who had two hits against Wakefield. "He had his knuckleball moving a lot and he threw a lot of strikes. We were able to get through those first couple of innings and settle down and took what he was giving us."

The Royals broke through in the fourth on Butler's RBI double before the game slowed to a crawl.

"(Wakefield) had a lot of first-pitch hits," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "In the fifth, three first-pitch hits on knuckleballs. They strung some hits together. I think the hits were almost even by the end of the night but we weren't able to string them together or get two-out hits."

A converted reliever who was called up from Class AAA Omaha, Nunez began the fifth and gave up a leadoff double to Julio Lugo and was immediately pulled after 74 pitches.

"He did a nice job," Bell said of his starter. "His pitch count isn't up to where a starter's normally is, but I thought he did a nice job against a good lineup."

It was a much better night for Nunez than his first and only other Fenway Park appearance two years earlier. As a reliever on Aug. 4, 2005, Nunez gave up Jason Varitek's first career grand slam.

"I remember, Varitek with the bases loaded," Nunez recalled through teammate Octavio Dotel. "That time it wasn't good but today, it was great. I just feel really comfortable and I wanted to do a great job for the team because I felt really comfortable today."

Following a flyout that moved Lugo to third, the Red Sox finally broke through when Dustin Pedroia's grounder was bobbled by second baseman Mark Grudzielanek, allowing Lugo to scamper home.

But the Royals padded their lead two innings later on Buck's hit, providing them all the cushion they would need to earn their first win of the season in Boston.

"Wake was good at first but you know how it is with the knuckleball sometimes, he'll get in a stretch where it's not dancing like it was in the first two innings," Buck said. "We had a couple of good at-bats and jumped on it early when he left it up and got some runs for (Nunez)."

One out later, Wakefield's night was done. The 40-year-old knuckleballer allowed nine hits and six runs and saw his personal three-game winning streak come to an end.

"They are an aggressive team," Wakefield said. pitched well for the first three innings and then it was 3-1 going into the seventh and I just kind of lost a feel for the ball, just seemed to not go down at the end, and I don't know the reason why."

Wakefield (10-9) has received a decision in each of his 19 starts this season.

A five-run seventh gave Kansas City breathing room and the Red Sox could not capitalize on numerous opportunities, leaving 22 runners on base in the contest.

Mike Lowell and Lugo each had three hits for Boston. Lugo, with two doubles, continues to show signs of warming up after a pathetic 7-for-89 performance in June. He scored once and drove in a run with a double in the eighth.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    KANSAS CITY 0 0 0 2 1 0 5 1 0 9 13 2
    BOSTON 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 3 12 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: KAN - LEO NUNEZ, JIMMY GOBBLE (5TH), ZACK GREINKE (5TH), JOEL
    PERALTA (7TH), JOAKIM SORIA (8TH) AND JOHN BUCK
    BOS - TIM WAKEFIELD, JAVIER LOPEZ (7TH), JOEL PINEIRO

    Jul 17 10:22 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DOUG MIRABELLI SCORED COCO CRISP.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D MIRABELLI ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 9
    BOSTON 3 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J LUGO (.215, 2-FOR-3)

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 17 9:58 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY COCO CRISP SCORED MIKE LOWELL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C CRISP ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 9
    BOSTON 2 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D MIRABELLI (.179, 0-FOR-3)

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 17 9:57 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY TONY PENA JR SCORED ALEX GORDON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T PENA JR ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 9
    BOSTON 1 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: D DEJESUS (.273, 0-FOR-3, BB)

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 17 9:46 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ROSS GLOAD SCORED MARK GRUDZIELANEK.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, 1 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 8
    BOSTON 1 END TOP, 7TH

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 17 9:26 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK GRUDZIELANEK SCORED DAVID DEJESUS.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, M GRUDZIELANEK ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 7
    BOSTON 1 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M TEAHEN (.286, 1-FOR-3)

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 17 9:19 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    PASSED BALL BY DOUG MIRABELLI ALLOWED JOHN BUCK TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, D DEJESUS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 6
    BOSTON 1 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M GRUDZIELANEK (.275, 1-FOR-3)

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 17 9:18 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOHN BUCK SCORED REGGIE SANDERS AND ALEX GORDON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J BUCK ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 5
    BOSTON 1 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: T PENA JR (.276, 2-FOR-2, RBI)

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 17 9:07 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY MARK GRUDZIELANEK ALLOWED JULIO LUGO TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D PEDROIA ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 3
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D ORTIZ (.323, 1-FOR-2)

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 17 8:39 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY TONY PENA JR SCORED ALEX GORDON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T PENA JR ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 3
    BOSTON 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: D DEJESUS (.273, 0-FOR-2)

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 17 8:24 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BILLY BUTLER SCORED MARK GRUDZIELANEK AND MARK
    TEAHEN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B BUTLER ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2
    BOSTON 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: R GLOAD (.260, 0-FOR-1)

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 17 8:04 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Topo Added 5 roots

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 17 7:01 PM