KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Will Middlebrooks made a triumphant return to the Boston lineup.
Middlebrooks and Jacoby Ellsbury each drove in two runs as the Red Sox topped the Kansas City Royals 5-3 on Saturday night.
Middlebrooks, just recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket, lined a two-run single to right field in the four-run fourth inning and also scored two runs.
Middlebrooks opened the season as Boston’s starting third baseman but was sent to the minors on June 25 with a .192 batting average and 60 strikeouts in 203 at-bats.
“I tried to put that as far out of my head as I can,” Middlebrooks said. “It felt good to win a game. I’m just trying to contribute.”
Ellsbury, who went 4-for-5 to match his career high for hits and raise his average to .305, doubled home Middlebrooks in the fourth and sixth innings.
“He squared up some balls tonight and gave me a chance to get around the bases,” Middlebrooks said.
Red Sox manager John Farrell was pleased to see a productive Middlebrooks.
“It lands on the grass and we score two in the fourth, and then he beats out the ground ball and scores a big run,” Farrell said. “He’s hustling and working hard.”
With two out in the sixth, Middlebrooks hit a slow roller to third baseman Mike Moustakas and beat the throw that led to an insurance run.
“I knew he was playing me deep and I didn’t hit it hard,” Middlebrooks said. “I just tried to get on base.”
Brandon Workman, the second of five Red Sox pitchers, picked up the victory with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Koji Uehara worked a flawless ninth to log his 12th save in 15 opportunities.
“The bullpen did an outstanding job,” Farrell said. “You can point to any one of them.”
The Red Sox jumped on Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, who had won his previous four starts, for four runs in the fourth inning.
Mike Carp led off with a walk and stopped at second on Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s single to right. Stephen Drew doubled to right, scoring Carp, and extended his hitting streak to a season-high 11 games.
Middlebrooks then singled to right, scoring Saltalamacchia and Drew. Ellsbury rifled a double to deep right center to score Middlebrooks with the final run of the inning.
Guthrie threw a season-high 123 pitches in six innings to take the loss.
“Jeremy threw good pitches all night long,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Boston did a great job of making him work. They didn’t chase. He was just missing on the corners. He had great stuff, but they made him work all night.”
Red Sox starter Felix Doubront faced four batters in the fifth without retiring any of them. He walked Alcides Escobar to lead off the inning and gave up back-to-back RBI doubles to Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler. After Alex Gordon’s single, Workman was summoned from the bullpen and permitted a one-out RBI single to Miguel Tejada, cutting the Red Sox lead to 4-3.
Doubront previously worked out of a bases-loaded situation in the first when Tejada lined out to Ellsbury in center to end the threat.
Tejada left in the seventh after diving for Carp’s ground single.
“When he dove for that ball, his right calf got real, real tight. We’re evaluating it now,” Yost said.
NOTES: The Royals placed OF Lorenzo Cain, who was hitting .261 with 43 RBIs in 96 games, on the disabled list with a pulled left oblique, which he injured taking batting practice on Friday. They recalled LHP Donnie Joseph and Will Smith from Triple-A Omaha and designated LHP Francisley Bueno for assignment. …The Red Sox recalled Middlebrooks from Triple-A Pawtucket and activated LHP Franklin Morales, who had been on the disabled list since June 28. They placed IF Brandon Snyder (sore right elbow) on the 15-day disabled list and optioned RHP Pedro Beato to Pawtucket. …Royals C Salvador Perez has passed all the tests after going on the concussion list and the Royals are awaiting clearance from Major League Baseball. He could be activated Sunday. …Royals RHP Wade Davis should be activated Sunday from the family emergency list and will start Monday against the Miami Marlins.