Royals Hold Off Red Sox, 4-3

Gil Meche won his fourth straight start and Alex Gordon homered to help the surging Kansas City Royals hold off the Boston Red Sox 4-3 last night.

Joakim Soria allowed a run in the ninth before Sean Casey flied out with runners at second and third to end it.

Meche (10-9) struck out nine in six innings for Kansas City, which won for the seventh time in eight games. The right-hander improved to 4-0 in five home starts against the Red Sox.

Dustin Pedroia had a double and two singles, extending his road hitting streak to 25 games — the most by a Boston player since Hall of Famer Tris Speaker 95 years ago.

Clay Buchholz (2-7) gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings in the sweltering, muggy heat. The temperature at gametime was 96 degrees, with a heat index of 103.

Pedroia's streak, which started May 31 at Baltimore, is Boston's longest since Speaker hit in 29 straight road games in 1913. Nomar Garciaparra had a 24-game run in 1998 for the Red Sox.

More recently, Luis Castillo had a 27-game road streak for Florida in 2002. Johnny Temple hit in 33 straight away games for Cleveland from 1960-61. Pedroia was 3-for-4 and raised his average to .401 over the last 43 games.

The Red Sox scored twice in the first inning, then were shut out until the ninth.

Coco Crisp and Pedroia singled, and Kevin Youkilis was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs. Jason Bay hit a slow roller wide of third that went for an RBI infield single when Gordon and shortstop Tony Pena Jr. collided trying to pick up the ball.

But Soria earned his 32nd save in 34 opportunities when Casey flied out to right.

Buchholz breezed through the first two innings on 18 pitches but threw 33 in a three-run third.

Gordon's homer cut Boston's lead to 2-1 in the second. Mike Aviles and Esteban German singled with one out in the third, and a wild pitch advanced the runners. Mark Teahen tied it with an RBI single.

Billy Butler's sacrifice fly made it 3-2, and then with the bases loaded Buchholz grazed John Buck with a pitch, forcing in Kansas City's fourth run.

Meche, after a slow start this season, has won six of his last seven decisions spanning nine starts. He hasn't lost since July 2 at Baltimore. While giving up two runs and four hits, he also issued a season-high five walks.

The only time it cost him was in the first. After J.D. Drew walked leading off the game, he went to third on Pedroia's double and scored on David Ortiz's RBI groundout. Kevin Youkilis made it 2-0 with an RBI double.

The Red Sox threatened in the eighth with runners at first and third and two outs but Ron Mahay came out of the bullpen and struck out Jason Varitek after falling behind 3-0.

This program aired on August 5, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.


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