KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Bruce Chen picked up his first victory of the season, Alcides Escobar drove in the go-ahead run and the Kansas City Royals held off the Boston Red Sox 4-3 Wednesday night.
Jonathan Broxton worked around a leadoff single and walk in the ninth inning for his seventh save in eight opportunities.
The Royals finished 4-3 on their homestand against Boston and the New York Yankees. The Red Sox have lost seven of eight.
Chen (1-4) gave up three runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings while striking out five and walking none. The Royals were winless in his first six starts this season.
The Royals beat Jon Lester (1-3) for the first time since Aug. 8, 2006. The left-hander came into the game with a 5-1 record and 1.30 ERA in seven career starts against Kansas City, including a no-hitter in 2008.
Escobar’s double in the fourth Irving Falu, who led off the inning with a double, to put the Royals ahead 4-3.
Lester’s pitch count rose early with a 38-pitch first inning, but 12 of those were after center fielder Marlon Byrd’s error led to three unearned runs.
Lester was pulled after 108 pitches and five innings, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk.
In the first inning, Byrd misjudged Johnny Giavotella’s two-out liner and the ball ricocheted off his glove as he jumped for it. The misplay allowed Billy Butler, who had walked, to score.
Brayan Pena then hit a two-run double to left-center that Cody Ross nearly caught. Ross had his glove on the ball, but it came loose and hit the wall. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine debated Ross held onto the ball long enough — the umpires held a conference on the field, but did not change the ruling.
Adrian Gonzalez hit a three-run double in the Boston third, driving in Byrd, Ryan Sweeney and Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia’s single extended his hitting streak to a season-high 10 games.
NOTES: Chen had not beaten the Red Sox since July 9, 2005, while with Baltimore. … The Royals called up Giavotella, who was hitting .483 in May and .331 in 31 games with Triple-A Omaha. They placed LHP Jonathan Sanchez on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis. … 1B Eric Hosmer, who is hitting .111 in the past 11 games, was not in the Royals’ lineup for the first time this season. … Boston 3B Kevin Youkilis, who is on the disabled list with a lower back strain, is penciled in for some baseball activity Thursday when the Red Sox return home. … OF Jeff Francoeur, who has no home runs and five RBIs, batted cleanup for the Royals for the first time this season.
Rays 4, Yankees 1
NEW YORK — Matt Joyce hit a three-run homer off fill-in closer David Robertson in the ninth inning, falling down on a twisted ankle as he finished his swing, and the Tampa Bay Rays rallied to beat the New York Yankees.
Robertson (0-1) escaped a bases-loaded jam the previous night in his first save chance since taking over for injured star Mariano Rivera. But one night later, New York got a chilling dose of real-life reality without Rivera.
With the Yankees clinging to a 1-0 lead, Sean Rodriguez singled through the left side on Robertson’s first pitch and went to third when pinch-hitter Brandon Allen singled to right on the next delivery.
Ben Zobrist walked and, one out later, and B.J. Upton hit a sacrifice fly to tie the score. Joyce then put the Rays ahead.
Fernando Rodney (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.
Angels 6, Twins 2
MINNEAPOLIS — Ervin Santana pitched 7 1-3 innings and got some run support from the Angels’ offense for the first time in his past six starts.
Santana (1-6) gave up two runs and six hits and Albert Pujols had two hits and two RBIs for Los Angeles, which took two of three from the Twins. Mike Trout had two doubles, two RBIs and scored twice and Howie Kendrick added three hits for Los Angeles.
Carl Pavano (2-3) was knocked out of the game before there was an out in the fifth inning for the Twins, who are an MLB-worst 8-22. He gave up five runs — four earned — and 10 hits in his shortest outing of the season.
Blue Jays 5, Athletics 2
OAKLAND, Calif. — Adam Lind hit a two-run homer after being demoted from the cleanup spot before the game, and J.P. Arencibia and Edwin Encarnacion each hit solo drives to lead Toronto.
Brandon Morrow (4-1) struck out a season-high 10 in six innings and won his fourth straight start, outpitching Tyson Ross (1-3) in a matchup of former college stars from nearby California who were 2006 teammates.
Morrow went 23 2-3 innings without allowing a run before Jonny Gomes hit an RBI single in the fifth.
Arencibia homered leading off the seventh and Encarnacion started the eighth with his 10th homer, ending an 0-for-21 funk and helping Toronto snap a three-game skid on the heels of a four-game winning streak. Colby Rasmus had an RBI single in the sixth.