The Boston Red Sox got themselves within 7.5 games of the leader in the American League East Sunday by completing a sweep of the Kansas City Royals with a 6-0 win.
It was the first time the Red Sox won a game at Fenway Park by more than a run in over a month. The run stretches all the way back to June 13 against the Indians when Boston won 10-3.
But Boston fans won't complain about how the team wins games, so long as it is winning them. The sweep runs Boston's record to 3-0 since the All-Star break and gives it a four-game winning streak going into a pivotal road trip.
Lester on form
Jon Lester was the story once again. The quiet left-hander continues to throw as well as just about anyone in the American League of late. Lester shutout the Royals for eight innings to win his 10th game of the season. He has not allowed more than two runs in a start since the first week in June.
Lester pitched around a mini jam in the first inning when he got Alex Gordon to fly out to the warning track in dead center field with two men on. The Sox ace allowed just four hits over his eight innings, walking two and striking out eight batters. Junichi Tazawa and Edward Mujica combined to throw a perfect ninth inning to bottle the win.
On the offensive
Offensively, the top, and very bottom, of the lineup paced the Boston attack. Brock Holt, Daniel Nava and Jackie Bradley Jr. each collected two hits. Holt scored twice from the leadoff spot, Nava drove in three runs in the two-hole and Bradley Jr. scored twice and was on three times as the team's "second leadoff man" in the number nine slot. Shane Victorino also added two hits.
The big blow came in the fourth when David Ross extended the lead from three to five runs with a two-run shot over the Green Monster. All of Boston's runs came against young Royals star Yordano Ventura, who allowed six runs in 4.1 innings of work. He also didn't strike out a batter for the first time in his career.
The win helps Boston stay with Tamp Bay, winners of five straight, and brings both teams to within 7.5 of the division-leading Orioles. Boston gets on the road for a stretch of seven straight games against the Blue Jays and Rays beginning tomorrow. First pitch from the Rogers Centre comes at 7:07 Eastern.