BOSTON — Dustin Pedroia was a home run from hitting for the cycle, and the pitcher who was trying to stop him wasn’t a pitcher at all.
The Red Sox second baseman hit a long fly ball off outfielder Mitch Maier to the base of the Green Monster — the only out he made Tuesday night in Boston’s 13-9 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
“He’s a position player. He’s just happy to get it over the plate,” Pedroia, who had four hits and a walk, said after missing the cycle when he couldn’t muscle an 80 mph slider over the Wall. “I hit it pretty good, but I can’t supply that much power.”
David Ortiz also had four of Boston’s 16 hits — including three doubles — driving in five runs as the Red Sox won for the 18th time in 22 games. Jason Varitek homered for Boston.
Hours after the teams took a 1-1 pitcher’s duel into the 14th inning and finished at 1:59 a.m., they combined for 31 hits and 22 runs against nine pitchers who threw 402 pitches — including Maier, who had one scoreless inning.
“You score nine runs, you should win the ballgame. But it just wasn’t enough tonight,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “We just couldn’t command the ball. We couldn’t throw strikes. We had nine walks. Threw 220 pitches in seven innings. It just wasn’t a good night.”
Alfredo Aceves (6-1) threw 3 1-3 scoreless innings in relief to improve to 20-2 in his career. Nathan Adcock (1-1) got just one out for the Royals, allowing three earned runs, three hits and three walks as Boston scored six times in the fifth inning to turn a back-and-forth game into a blowout.
“It was a strange game,” Pedroia said. “Last night, we struggled to score one run for a long time. Tonight was kind of different. Both teams hit the ball really well. We just had that one big inning and held on.”
Batting cleanup for the third time this season — Kevin Youkilis sat out with a hamstring injury — Pedroia had a triple, double and single in his first three at-bats but singled his next time up, in the fifth inning, walked in the sixth and flied out in the eighth.
“I knew he needed a home run for the cycle. So I didn’t expect anything else. I’d be doing the same thing if it was me,” said Maier, who hadn’t pitched since Little League. “Off the bat, I thought it had a chance. Luckily, it stayed in.”
Alex Gordon and Billy Butler homered for the Royals, and Butler and Mike Aviles both had three hits. Kansas City scored twice in the ninth before Franklin Morales struck out Alcides Escobar to end it.
The Royals, who used six pitchers in Monday night’s extra-inning game, used five more on Tuesday, turning to Maier in the eighth. It was the 10th time in franchise history that a position player has pitched for Kansas City.
“The opportunity to pitch in Fenway Park as an outfielder is something I will never forget,” Maier said.
It was 2-2 after one inning, 4-2 Royals after two, 5-4 Boston after three and 7-6 Kansas City after four. But the Red Sox broke it open with six runs in the fifth inning, when they sent 11 batters to the plate.
Josh Reddick and Jacoby Ellsbury singled before recent call-up Drew Sutton bunted them along and reached safely when Aviles, the second baseman who was covering first, couldn’t handle the throw from Adcock. Two runs scored, and Sutton made it around to third on the error.
After Marco Scutaro walked, Blake Wood replaced Adcock and gave up consecutive singles to Adrian Gonzalez, Pedroia, Ortiz and Carl Crawford. Varitek struck out before Reddick, batting for the second time, hit a sacrifice fly to make it 12-7.