Royals - 000 400 000 - 4 8 0 Red Sox - 002 000 010 - 3 8 0Pinch-hitter Carl Crawford nearly won the game in the bottom of the ninth with a shot to deep right field. But a possible two-run homer became the second out of the inning as Jeff Francoeur raced back to the track by the short fence, then turned quickly and reached back towards the field and made a basket catch, with a slight bobble.
Dustin Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 25 games with a home run to lead off the eighth inning. ... Jacoby Ellsbury had a two-run double in the third, knocking in Jason Varitek (single) and Yamaico Navarro (double). ... Adrian Gonzalez and Drew Sutton each had two singles.
Beckett (7-6-4-3-8, 109) was superb in six of his seven innings. But he faced nine batters in an ugly 38-pitch fourth. He walked the first two, then gave up a three-run dong to Billy Butler. Back-to-back doubles from Francoeur and Mike Moustakas brought in another run.
Hochevar (7-6-2-1-6, 103) matched Beckett, but avoided a melt-down inning. After Ellsbury's double put the Sox up 2-0, Hochevar gave up a one-out single to Gonzalez, putting runners at first and third. But Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz both went down swinging, and the Royals quickly stormed back.
The Yankees are off today, so Boston is 2.5 GA in the East.
Luke Hochevar / Josh Beckett
AVG OBP SLG OPS R/G W- L April .243 .331 .380 .711 4.1 11-15 May .287 .349 .472 .820 5.4 19 10 June .291 .366 .472 .838 6.1 16- 9 July .306 .383 .518 .901 6.9 18- 4 ERA Team Start Pen April 4.24 3.83 5.13 May 4.01 4.14 3.76 June 3.58 3.95 2.64 July 3.83 4.76 2.59
Dustin Pedroia is hitting .406 (43-for-106) over his 24-game hitting streak. He has also reached base safely (hit or walk) in 36 straight games -- .391/.463/.689/1.152 -- the longest streak in MLB this season.