Despite being without heavy hitters Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Josh Beckett came up big for the Boston Red Sox to muscle past the Kansas City Royals Thursday night, 4-3.
Pedroia went 3-4 on the evening, had 3 RBIs, stole a base and scored a run. Two of those RBIs occurred in the top of the third inning, when he broke open a tied game by scoring former Royal Mike Aviles and Jacoby Ellsbury to take a 3-1 lead. In the fifth, Pedroia singled to score Jed Lowrie to give the Red Sox the lead for good.
Beckett pitched seven innings Thursday night, throwing 110 pitches and getting 77 strikes. He had a 2.47 ERA on the night. Though he found himself in a few jams (including one in the bottom of the sixth that had many assuming his night was over), Beckett was able to get out of them. He also had offensive support from his teammates – something he had lacked in outings past.
Beckett did give up one home run on the night to left fielder Alex Gordon in the bottom of the third, who was a highlight for the Royals all over the field tonight.
Reliever Daniel Bard pitched the eighth inning, only allowing one hit. Closer Jonathan Papelbon had a 1-2-3 ninth inning to shut the door on the Royals’ night.
Royals’ starting pitcher Luke Hochevar pitched six innings and 114 pitches, with a 4.93 ERA..
The Sox improve to 21-20 in series openers this season. The Royals and Sox meet three more times this weekend, with the two set to take the field again Friday night at 8:10 EST.