The Red Sox cruised past the Royals Wednesday night, collecting 16 hits and 3 homers en route to a 12-5 victory.
Much like on Tuesday, the Sox found themselves in an early hole as the Royals struck in the top of the first inning. A pair of bad defensive plays behind John Lackey proved costly when Eric Hosmer took the Boston starter deep, changing a one-run homer into a three-run shot.
Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia made short work of much of that lead, going back-to-back in the bottom of the inning to make it 3-2. Then, in the second, it was the bottom of the lineup picking up a walk and a pair of singles to set up the top for an RBI walk, sacrifice fly, and groundout that left Boston up 5-3.
Aside from a Billy Butler home run in the fifth, John Lackey settled down well enough as the game went on, allowing the Sox to pull away in the fifth. Again it was the bottom-of-the-order that got things started, as Darnell McDonald doubled on a ground ball to left field and Yamaico Navarro singled him home, but this time the top-half of the lineup got the done too. A trio of singles from Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, and Kevin Youkilis (combined with a baserunning gaffe) loaded the bases for David Ortiz, who quickly emptied them when he launched a grand slam into the bleachers in right. The four RBI put him over the 1,000 mark in his Red Sox career.
Randy Williams and Dan Wheeler finished up the last three innings with just one run between them, sending the Red Sox to an 18-4 record in July, and once again sending them to a three-game lead over the Yankees.