Kansas City, MO – Brayan Pena knocked in a pair of runs as the Kansas City Royals edged the Boston Red Sox, 4-3, in the rubber match of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
Bruce Chen (1-4) scattered seven hits and three runs with five strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings for the Royals, who won for the third time in five games.
"You could tell from the first inning on that he was on his game," said Kansas City manager Ned Yost. "He was executing, his stuff was good, you could tell it was gonna be a good game."
Jonathan Broxton pitched his way out of a jam in the ninth inning to earn his seventh save of the season.
Jon Lester (1-3) gave up four runs -- one earned -- on six hits and a walk through five innings, while Adrian Gonzalez drove in all three runs for Boston, which dropped its seventh game in eight tries.
Kansas City struck first in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a couple of defensive gaffes by the Red Sox.
After Billy Butler worked a two-out walk and Jeff Francoeur singled to left, Johnny Giavotella hit a line drive to center field that Marlon Byrd initially came in on, but then had the ball deflect off his glove as he made a leaping attempt at the liner, allowing Butler to come home.
Pena stepped up next and hit a ball to deep left-center field that Cody Ross charged and seemed to make a running catch, but the ball popped out of his glove after he made a couple of steps and it bounced off the wall before Ross corralled it.
The umpires, though, said the catch was no good and Pena took second for a two-run double.
"I thought I caught the ball. I took a couple good steps and went to go brace myself against the chain link fence. The ball just kind of came out and I really didn't think anything of it. When I saw it pop out, I grabbed it, turned around and expected to just run off the field," said Ross. "I guess he (the umpire) thought that I didn't catch it."
Boston loaded the bases with one out in the third inning with singles by Byrd, Ryan Sweeney and Dustin Pedroia, and after a David Ortiz strikeout, Gonzalez cleared the bases with a double into right-center field to knot the game at three.
But Kansas City regained the lead in the fourth when Irving Falu led off the frame with a double, moved to third on a Chris Getz sacrifice bunt and came home on Alcides Escobar's double to right-center field for a 4-3 advantage.
The Royals failed to add to their lead when they stranded a runner on third in the seventh inning and Falu was thrown out at home to end the eighth when he tried to score from first on a Getz double into the left-field corner.
Broxton made the score stand despite getting into trouble in the ninth.
Ross started the frame with single to right and Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed with a walk to put the game-winning run on the bases.
After a Byrd sacrifice bunt placed runners on second and third, Sweeney slapped the ninth pitch of his at-bat to left field, but Alex Gordon snagged the sinking liner with a sliding catch and quickly popped up to keep pinch- runner Darnell McDonald at third.
Broxton then induced a bouncer to short by Mike Aviles to seal the win for the Royals.
Kansas City recalled infielder Johnny Giavotella from Tripla-A Omaha and placed pitcher Jonathan Sanchez on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 8, earlier Wednesday...Lester fell to 5-2 in eight career starts against Kansas City...Chen improved to 4-6 in 17 appearances -- 10 starts -- against Boston...Pedroia extended his hit streak to 10 straight games...Kansas City improved to 3-1 in series-deciding games this season.