Sox slam sweep door on KC
By The Associated Press
The finale of the Red Sox’s memorable four-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals was grand.
J.D. Drew and Mike Lowell hit grand slams Thursday to help Daisuke Matsuzaka remain unbeaten, and Boston completed a perfect seven-game homestand with an 11-8 win over the Royals.
The series started with Jon Lester’s no-hitter on Monday and closed with Lowell and Drew joining the club’s record books. It was just the fourth time Boston has had two slams in a game at home.
“It closed a nice homestand for us,” Lowell said. “The thing I like most is we plugged two new guys in.”
After Lester’s gem, rookie Justin Masterson and former Cy Young winner Bartolo Colon were called up from Triple-A Pawtucket and picked up wins.
Drew and Lowell were the first Red Sox to hit slams in the same game at Fenway since Tony Armas and Bill Buckner did it Aug. 7, 1984. The last time Boston had two slams in a game was when the switch-hitting Bill Mueller hit both — one from each side — at Texas on July 29, 2003.
“They started it off by a no-hitter and we didn’t pitch good against their potent offense,” Royals manager Trey Hillman said. “We didn’t do a whole lot offensively until today.”
Jose Guillen went 4-for-5 with a solo homer and three RBIs, and Miguel Olivo had three hits and five RBIs for Kansas City.
In other AL games, Detroit 9, Seattle 2; Texas 8, Minnesota 7, 10 innings; New York 2, Baltimore 1; Toronto 4, Los Angeles 3; and Chicago 3, Cleveland 1.
In Boston, Matsuzaka (8-0) gave up three runs on six hits, walked six, struck out seven and threw two wild pitches in becoming the AL’s first eight-game winner. Arizona’s Brandon Webb has nine wins.
Jonathan Papelbon got three outs for his 14th save.
Matsuzaka became only the second Japanese-born pitcher to start a season 8-0 in the majors. Hideki Irabu started 1999 with eight wins for the New York Yankees.
“I’m very grateful that I’ve been given the chance to get these wins under these circumstances,” Matsuzaka said of the run support through a translator.
With Boston trailing 1-0 in the second, Manny Ramirez, Lowell and Kevin Youkilis each singled before Drew drove Brian Bannister’s fastball into the second row of the Green Monster seats. Youkilis’ RBI single made it 5-1 in the third.
“I fouled a ball off my foot and walked around a little bit, thinking before I got back in the box,” Drew said. “It’s kind of nice to be home and play well in front of your fans.”
Lowell hit his slam off reliever Jimmy Gobble to cap a six-run sixth that made it 11-3, after Ramirez was intentionally walked.
Bannister (4-6), who allowed seven runs on 12 hits, couldn’t work his daytime magic against the Red Sox. Entering the game, he was 4-0 with a 0.62 ERA in starts under the sun.
Rangers 8, Twins 7, 10 innings
At Minneapolis, Josh Hamilton hit a two-out homer in the 10th inning to lift Texas.
Hamilton’s drive into the left-field seats against Brian Bass (1-1) gave him 12 homers, matching Chicago’s Carlos Quentin for the AL lead.
Hamilton went 2-for-4 and moved past Minnesota’s Joe Mauer for the best average in the league, .335. He has 53 RBIs, too, by far the most in the majors.
Joaquin Benoit (3-1) loaded the bases in the eighth and surrendered a two-run single to Justin Morneau that tied the game at 7.
Published in The Messenger 5.23.08