Boston, MA – Pedro Ciriaco's two-run double in the seventh inning lifted the Boston Red Sox over the Kansas City Royals, 4-3, in the opener of a four-game set.
Ciriaco finished the game 2-for-4 and also scored a run for the Red Sox, who put the brakes on a four-game skid.
David Ortiz went 2-for-4 with a double and drove in a pair of runs in his first game since landing on the disabled list July 17 with a right Achilles injury.
"He looked like a sight for sore eyes," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said of Ortiz's return. "The first two pitches that he saw, he drove both of them nicely."
Jon Lester (8-10) gave up three runs on six hits and four walks while striking out six to earn his third consecutive win.
Andrew Bailey recorded the final out of the eighth and retired the side in order in the ninth to pick up his first save of the season.
Eric Hosmer hit a solo homer Alex Gordon had an RBI double for the Royals, who lost for the third time in four games.
Kelvin Herrera (1-2) was pegged with the loss after giving up Ciriaco's double in the seventh.
Bruce Chen started for the Royals and gave up three runs on eight hits while striking out five over six-plus innings.
"Bruce threw the ball great, he really did," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "If he doesn't walk the leadoff guy, I'm not so sure he doesn't get us through the seventh inning."
Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was a late scratch from Friday's lineup. Gonzalez is one of the notable players involved in a proposed trade that, according to multiple sources, would send the first baseman, along with pitcher Josh Beckett, outfielder Carl Crawford and infielder Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for first baseman James Loney and prospects Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, Ivan De Jesus and Jerry Sands.
Both Gonzalez and Beckett were reportedly claimed off waivers by the Dodgers.
Ortiz drove in two runs in his first at-bat. Ciriaco and Jacoby Ellsbury hit back-to-back singles before advancing on a Pedroia groundout in the first inning. Ortiz followed with a line drive into center field.
Kansas City knotted the contest in the third. Hosmer clubbed a leadoff homer before Gordon scored Alcides Escobar with a double off the Green Monster.
With the bases loaded and one out in the fourth, Johnny Giavotella beat out an infield hit to score Mike Moustakas. Giavotella tapped a chopper past the pitcher and it was fielded by first baseman Mauro Gomez, but Lester couldn't get to first in time to catch Giavotella.
Ciriaco's two-run double in the seventh gave Boston the lead. With runners on second and third Ciriaco sliced a hit down the left field line.
Lester appeared to slip on the mound in the eighth inning and was removed from the game.
Prior to the game Ortiz was activated off the DL and pitcher Junichi Tazawa was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. Boston was 13-22 in Ortiz's absence ... Gonzalez is currently in the first of a seven-year $154 million deal ... Herrera blew his first save of the season.