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Gordon, Butler lead Royals past Red Sox

Jul 19, 2007 - 4:30 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- A pair of rookies took advantage of Julian Tavarez's struggles to lead the Kansas City Royals to a 6-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.

For the second night in a row, the bullpen provided four innings of outstanding work for the Royals, who handed the Red Sox their seventh straight loss in one-run games.

"Our bullpen has been so solid for us," said Kansas City second baseman Mark Grudzielanek, who finished the night with two hits and a pair of runs. "They've been doing that for probably six weeks now and it really helps."

Rookie Alex Gordon, who hit just .185 over the first two months of the season, followed up a three-hit effort Tuesday with two hits and a pair of RBI on Wednesday. Since June 10, Gordon is batting .333 with 23 RBI.

Gordon may be benefiting from the presence of fellow rookie Billy Butler, who is hitting .311 in 31 games since first being recalled on May 1. His two-run double off Tavarez in the fifth gave Kansas City the lead for good.

"He is very good pitcher," Butler said. "But we took advantage of our opportunities tonight. It was great to finish off a good series."

Four Royals relievers combined for four scoreless innings, with Octavio Dotel pitching the ninth for his 10th save.

Following an impressive start to the season, Tavarez has come crashing back to earth in recent weeks, and with Curt Schilling likely to return in two weeks, Tavarez may have pitched his way out of Boston 's rotation.

"It's disappointing," Tavarez said. "I have been getting some run support from my team and I haven't been able to hold on to it. I can't say I'm happy about it. My teammates are doing everything they can for me, giving me a chance to win some games but it's me."

Tavarez has given up 18 runs in his last three starts.

After matching Kansas City starter Odalis Perez with three scoreless innings, Tavarez began to unravel in the fourth.

Grudzielanek and Mark Teahen opened the frame with back-to-back singles and each moved up a base when Butler grounded out to first. Ross Gload brought Grudzielanek home with a sacrifice fly, and Gordon plated Teahen with a single to right for a 2-0 lead.

"(Playing) against a real good team, we scored two then they scored four and then we scored four and you think it's going to be OK," Kansas City manager Buddy Bell said of the middle innings. "But it was a (heckuva) win for our club.

"When you come in to Fenway Park, which is one of the special places, to play against a team that has the best record in the American League, it feels pretty good."

Boston responded in their half of the fourth, using two singles and a walk to load the bases with no outs off Perez. Jason Varitek cut the lead in half with a fielder's choice and Coco Crisp walked to reload the bases. The suddenly hot Julio Lugo then gave the Red Sox their first lead of the night with a two-run double to left. J.D. Drew's sacrifice fly made it 4-2.

After a painfully slow start, Lugo has been red-hot at the plate of late. He has hit in eight straight games, raising his average from .197 to .218. But his hot streak has not translated to wins for the slumping Red Sox, who are just 3-5 during that stretch,

"You can get as many hits as you can," Lugo said. "But if you don't get a win, it doesn't mean anything."

Kansas City wasted little time jumping back on top in the fifth. Grudzielanek doubled home a run and Butler followed two batters later with a two-run double to put the Royals back on top, 5-4.

"I was just looking for a pitch to drive," Butler said. "I had guys in scoring position and I got a good pitch. I just did what I could with it."

Gordon's second RBI of the night scored Butler and pushed the lead to 6-4.

Tavarez was lifted after Gordon's at-bat, marking the fifth straight start in which he has failed to pitch at least six innings. The veteran sinkerballer was charged with six runs - four earned - and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out three and not walking a batter.

"Today I made a lot of mistakes," Tavarez said. "I wasn't able to be consistent with my game plan. I wish I could take it back and start over again but you can't do that in this game."

Manny Ramirez cut the deficit in half in the fifth with a mammoth solo blast over the wall in center, his 14th homer of the season.

Perez lasted through the fifth, yielding five runs and seven hits while striking out two and issuing a pair of walks.

"It was good to be able to go about five innings," Perez said. "If I can go five, I know those guys in the bullpen are going to hold the lead for us. But it was nice to get a win even though I didn't pitch great."

It took a fine defensive play from Grudzielanek to avoid trouble in the seventh. With runners on first and second and two outs, righthander Joakim Soria came on to face Kevin Youkilis, who hit a hard grounder to the right side. Grudzielanek made the play on the edge of the outfield grass, with his throw beating Youkilis by half a step.

"It was a pretty big play," Grudzielanek said. "But I don't think he would have scored even if the ball had gotten through. But it's nice to get that out. It was a big one tonight."

The Red Sox stranded Coco Crisp on third base in the eighth and left David Ortiz on first to end the game.






  • 60
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    joestilwell Added 5 roots

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 18 10:47 PM


  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    KANSAS CITY 0 0 0 2 4 0 0 0 0 6 9 0
    BOSTON 0 0 0 4 1 0 0 0 0 5 10 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: KAN - ODALIS PEREZ, DAVID RISKE (6TH), JIMMY GOBBLE (7TH), JOAKIM
    SORIA (7TH), OCTAVIO DOTEL (9TH) AND JASON LARUE
    BOS - JULIAN TAVAREZ, MIKE TIMLIN (5TH), MANNY
    D

    Jul 18 10:24 PM
  • bones crap, couple feet short of a tie game; plus lugo almost killed remy

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 18 9:59 PM
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    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 18 9:59 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 18 9:58 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MANNY RAMIREZ (14) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF ODALIS PEREZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 6, BOSTON 5
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K YOUKILIS (.315, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 18 8:55 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALEX GORDON SCORED BILLY BUTLER.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, A GORDON ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 6
    BOSTON 4 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: E BROWN (.239, 1-FOR-2)

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 18 8:44 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BILLY BUTLER SCORED MARK GRUDZIELANEK AND MARK
    TEAHEN.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, B BUTLER ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 5
    BOSTON 4 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: R GLOAD (.260, 0-FOR-1, SF, RBI)

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 18 8:42 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY MANNY RAMIREZ ALLOWED DAVID DEJESUS TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M GRUDZIELANEK ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 3
    BOSTON 4 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M TEAHEN (.285, 1-FOR-2)

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 18 8:34 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY J.D. DREW SCORED COCO CRISP.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, J LUGO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2
    BOSTON 4 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D PEDROIA (.316, 2-FOR-2)

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 18 8:25 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JULIO LUGO SCORED KEVIN YOUKILIS AND JASON
    VARITEK.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, J LUGO ON SECOND, C CRISP ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2
    BOSTON 3 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J DREW (.254, 0-FOR-2)

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 18 8:24 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY JASON VARITEK SCORED MANNY RAMIREZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J VARITEK ON FIRST, K YOUKILIS ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: C CRISP (.265, 0-FOR-1)

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 18 8:19 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALEX GORDON SCORED MARK TEAHEN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A GORDON ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2
    BOSTON 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: E BROWN (.235, 0-FOR-1)

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 18 8:04 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ROSS GLOAD SCORED MARK GRUDZIELANEK.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M TEAHEN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 1
    BOSTON 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: A GORDON (.235, 0-FOR-1)

    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 18 8:03 PM
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    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 18 12:43 PM
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    Royals vs. Red SoxJul 18 11:16 AM