BOSTON (Reuters) - The Kansas City Royals brought Boston's five-game winning streak to a shuddering halt with a 4-3 road victory over the Red Sox on Thursday.
Boston starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, who carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday, had a more difficult outing this time, allowing three runs and eight walks in less than five innings.
Matsuzaka has been up and down this season after he started the year on the disabled list with a neck injury and has a 3-2 record.
Right fielder David DeJesus sparked the Royals with an RBI single in the top of the fifth, where his team scored three times for a 3-1 lead. He added an RBI double in the sixth to restore a two-run advantage.
Kansas City's bullpen came through in the final three innings as three pitchers held Boston without a hit after starter Brian Bannister allowed three runs over six innings.
"We knew that they've been hot but we also feel like we're playing pretty good, too," Royals manager Ned Yost told reporters. "We feel pretty good about ourselves and I think it showed tonight."
The Red Sox twice pulled within one run, on a solo homer from Bill Hall in the fifth and Jason Varitek's RBI double in the sixth, but fell to just their second loss in 10 games.
After a slow start, Boston (27-22) have been slowing climbing up the American League East Division and swept the Major League-leading Tampa Bay Rays earlier this week.
The Red Sox took a 1-0 edge on the Royals (20-28) when Adrian Beltre hit an RBI single in the fourth.
J.D. Drew helped set up the run with a single in the fourth that hit the second base umpire and allowed him to reach. Drew finished with three hits.
Bannister (4-3) was able to minimize the damage for the Royals, however, and earned his third straight win on the mound.
(Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)