The Red Sox took a quiet 4-3 win over the Royals Friday night even as their team was exploding with trade talk turmoil off the field.
Boston got off to a quick start thanks to none other than the returning David Ortiz. With two men on base and in scoring position, Ortiz stepped to the plate to see his first pitch since July. It was a fastball, over the plate, and Ortiz didn't miss it, smacking a hard line drive up the middle and bringing both men home to score.
The lead would last only until the third, however, as Jon Lester gave off a first-pitch homer to Eric Hosmer, and had the Royals push another run across with a two-out walk and double. With Kansas City pushing another one across after a bases loaded infield single, the Sox fell behind 3-2.
From there, both pitchers would settle down. Bruce Chen made it through the sixth inning, dodging somewhat frequent baserunners, while Lester made it all the way through the end of the seventh, managing to make this a pretty strong night on the whole for the resurgent southpaw after a bad beginning.
The tides finally shifted back in Boston's favor in the seventh. After a leadoff walk to Mauro Gomez, Bruce Chen was pulled from the game for Kelvin Herrera. Mike Aviles singled behind him to give the Sox two on with no outs, and Scott Podsednik dropped down a successful bunt to bring the tying run within 90 feet of home. While Pedro Ciriaco would initially fall behind 0-2, he managed a piece of hitting so ugly it was beautiful, pulling his knees back and taking a golf swing at a pitch on his shoetops, dropping it into left field for a two-run double.
Jon Lester would come up with a hamstring knock in the eighth, and with his pitch count already high, Bobby Valentine turned to the bullpen for the last six outs. With Vicente Padilla, Andrew Miller, and Andrew Bailey combining
It's not a night that will be remembered for the game that took place, but for all that, it was a solid win none-the-less from what might be the team we'll see for the rest of the season.