Jacoby Ellsbury had a pair of doubles among his four hits and drove in two runs as the Boston Red Sox prevailed in a 5-3 win over the Kansas City Royals in the third test of a four-game set at Kauffman Stadium.
Will Middlebrooks made an impact in his first game back with Red Sox, going 2- for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. His poor start to the season earned him a demotion to Triple-A Pawtucket, where he had been since June 25.
"They welcomed me in with open arms," Middlebrooks said of his return. "I didn't even really feel like I skipped a beat."
Koji Uehara secured Boston's first win of the series with a 1-2-3 ninth while also picking up his 12th save of the season. Brandon Workman (3-1) relieved starter Felix Doubront and escaped a fifth-inning jam to pick up the win.
Kansas City, which lost for just the third time in its last 18 games, received an RBI apiece from Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler and Miguel Tejada in the setback.
"They're one of the better teams in baseball right now," Hosmer said of the Red Sox. "It was a tough loss, but we were in it the whole time."
Jeremy Guthrie (12-8) took a pounding, charged with five runs on 10 hits over six frames.
The Red Sox came up empty on a scoring opportunity in the third, but broke through with four runs off Guthrie in the fourth to grab the game's first lead.
Stephen Drew came up with runners on first and second and delivered the first of three consecutive run-scoring hits. His double dropped right in front of a diving Jarrod Dyson in center to score Mike Carp, and Middlebrooks followed with a single to right to plate two more runs. Ellsbury then capped the outburst by driving in Middlebrooks with a double that made it 4-0 Boston.
Kansas City came back in the fifth with three runs, chasing Doubront from the contest by putting its first four batters of the inning on base.
Alcides Escobar walked and hustled around the bags to score on Hosmer's double into the left-field gap. Butler followed with a two-bagger of his own to plate Hosmer and Alex Gordon's ensuing single had Boston going to its bullpen.
Workman took over and served up a one-out RBI single to Tejada that made it 4-3, but kept the Red Sox in front by retiring Mike Moustakas and Brett Hayes.
The Red Sox were able to widen their margin in the sixth thanks to a two-out hit from Middlebrooks. Ellsbury brought him in by ripping a double to left, but ended the inning when he got thrown out at third trying to stretch his hit into a triple.
The Royals received doubles from Butler and Hayes in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, but were stifled by Junichi Tazawa, who escaped both jams to throw two scoreless innings.
Uehara has a 16-inning scoreless streak going ... Tejada left the game in the seventh inning with a leg injury ... Doubront was charged with three runs over four-plus frames. For the 16th straight start, he allowed three or fewer earned runs and tied Babe Ruth for the longest such single-season streak by a left-hander in Red Sox history. Ruth accomplished the feat between July 29- October 3, 1916 ... Prior to the game, Boston activated pitcher Franklin Morales from the 15-day disabled list, optioned pitcher Pedro Beato to Pawtucket and placed infielder Brandon Snyder on the 15-day DL.