Royals - 100 210 000 - 4 12 1 Red Sox - 010 004 00x - 5 10 2Two-run homers from Xander Bogaerts and pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes in the sixth inning lifted the Red Sox to victory. The Red Sox gained a game in the standings: 8.5 GB.
Gomes has now hit six pinch-hit home runs during his two seasons with the Red Sox. Only Ted Williams (7) has hit more PH-HR in a Boston uniform.
Clay Buchholz (6-10-4-0-3, 104) became the first Red Sox starting pitcher to win consecutive team games since Don Schwall (July 9 and 13, 1961, also around the All-Star break).
(And while looking at the 1961 schedule, I see the Red Sox had walk-off wins in both ends of a June 18 doubleheader, 13-12 (8 runs in the bottom of the ninth!) and 6-5 in 13 innings. Must have been an extremely fun day at Fenway!)
Holt, RFIn the Red Sox's last game, Clay Buchholz had one of the finest outings of his eight-year career, tossing a three-hit complete game shutout, with a career-high 12 strikeouts. Buchholz gets the ball again in Friday's game against the Royals as Boston begins the season's "second half".
The Red Sox host the Royals for three games before going on the road to Toronto and Tampa Bay, before coming back to Fenway Park to play the Blue Jays and Yankees. Will the Red Sox have narrowed the gap in the AL East by the time the trade deadline passes and August begins? ... Boston has won four of its last five games, showing some offensive pop, though those victories came against the White Sox and Astros, two sub-.500 teams.
Orioles 52 42 --- Blue Jays 49 47 4.0 Yankees 47 47 5.0 Red Sox 43 52 9.5 Rays 44 53 9.5Jon Lester:
Our division is pretty open. ... You're talking about nine games, you're talking about a homestand where things can be very, very different if we get on a roll and we start playing better. I think you saw that the last five or six games from us. The offense has started swinging the bat a lot better lately. If we continue to keep our guys in games, we're going to win more games and hopefully those one-run games are going to change for us.Koji Uehara:
I feel that the way we finished off the first half and how many games there are left in the season, I certainly think that we have a shot.Ben Cherington:
We've put ourselves in this position, so the math is working against us a little bit. But stranger things have happened. We don't see why we can't win more games than most of the teams ahead of us.Shane Victorino could rejoin the Red Sox for the KC series.