BOSTON – It took them a little longer, but the Kansas City Royals held on to beat the Boston Red Sox 10-9 in 12 innings Saturday night at Fenway Park.
Junichi Tazawa took the loss for the Red Sox, falling to 0-1. With two outs in the 12th, Tazawa walked Jeff Francouer, who took third on Eric Hosmer’s double and scored on Tony Abreu’s single to left with the go-ahead run.
"I went to home plate to make good contact,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “[Tazawa] left it up and I had good contact. I didn't try to do too much. I shortened up my swing a little, choked up and I was able to make contact. I'm happy."
Reliever Francisley Bueno earned the win for the Royals, his first of the season (now 1-0). He went 1 2/3 scoreless innings and gave up a hit with two strikeouts. Greg Holland earned his seventh save with a scoreless 12th.
"I don't know how you sum it up, but I never felt like we were ever out of that game,” said Royals manager Ned Yost. “A bloop here and a bloop there, a ball in the gap. That was a pretty darn good two-out rally there and again in the 12th."
The Red Sox fell to 2-8 in extra-inning games, 0-6 at Fenway. It was the first time they had 20 hits in a loss since Sept. 3, 1981, when they had 23 hits in a 20-inning loss to the Mariners.
“It was frustrating.” said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. “We had a lot of hits and some opportunities to score some more runs, but just misfired a little and couldn’t get the third out in the seventh inning, had four tries on it, but they got RBIs on all of them.”
Although the Royals took a quick three-run lead on Red Sox right-hander Aaron Cook in the first inning, Boston came back with a combined nine runs to take a 9-3 lead after five.
“We were down early and fought right back,” said Boston outfielder Cody Ross. “Big homer by Mauro [Gomez] and then one by Mikey [Aviles] and then Cook settled down and we just kept adding on. And then it just kind of got out of control. But a lot of energy.”
Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, who took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning in his last start, couldn’t get through the third inning on Saturday. He went 2 2/3 innings, matching his shortest start of the season, giving up seven runs (six earned) on seven hits and two walks with a strikeout and two home runs. His ERA climbed from 3.23 to 4.32.
Cook was starting on short rest in place of Josh Beckett, who was traded to the Dodgers on Saturday. Cook went six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and a walk.
“More than we expected,” Valentine said. “Cook got his groundball double plays when he had to. He gave us everything he had,  pitches and six innings, pretty good.”
The Royals got to Cook early, as the first four batters of the game reached base. Jarrod Dyson opened the game with a single to center and Alcides Escobar singled to left. Alex Gordon’s double to center scored both runs, and Billy Butler’s single to right scored Gordon, giving the Royals a 3-0 lead.
But in the second, with one out, four straight Red Sox batters hit safely. Mauro Gomez started it off with a solo home run, his first home run of the season. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Lavarnway both singled before Mike Aviles’ 13th homer of the season gave the Sox a 4-3 lead.
The Sox added to that in the third with the first four batters reached base. Dustin Pedroia opened the inning with a ground-rule double, followed by a walk to Jacoby Ellsbury and a single by Cody Ross. Gomez’ infield single scored Pedroia, with Ellsbury scoring on Guthrie’s throwing error, and Gomez getting thrown out trying to talk second.
In the fifth, the Sox added two more runs as Pedro Ciriaco led off with a walk, going to second on Ellsbury’s two-out single to center. Ross single to left scored Ciriaco, while Gomez single to left scored Ellsbury.
But the Royals stormed back to tie the game in seventh, when they sent 11 batters to the plate. Left-hander Andrew Miller started the inning but recorded just two outs before he was replaced by Mark Melancon. With two outs, and Eric Hosmer on first, seven consecutive Royals batters reached base safely.
Jarrod Dyson and Escobar walked, Alex Gordon doubled, scoring two runs. Melancon entered, and gave up a single to Butler, driving in another run. Salvador Perez’s single scored a run, and Mike Moustakas’ triple scored a run. After an intentional walk to Jeff Francouer, Hosmer grounded out to end the inning.
NOTES: Designated hitter David Ortiz was out of the starting lineup Saturday, a day after being activated from the disabled list, where he had been since July 17 with a right Achilles…Left-hander Felix Doubront was activated from the 15-day DL, where he had been since Aug. 10 with a right knee contusion. He is expected to start Sunday. … Outfielder Daniel Nava was placed on the 15-day DL with a left wrist sprain. It is his second stint on the DL this season…Shortstop Jose Iglesias, outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin, and right-hander Junichi Tazawa were called up from Triple-A Pawtucket and activated prior to Saturday’s game. … Mauro Gomez’s solo home run with one out in the second inning snapped Jeremy Guthrie’s streak at 23 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run. … Tony Abreu started at second base, his first appearance in over a week. … Third baseman Mike Moustakas took an 0-for-15 skid into Saturday’s game. … Reliever Tim Collins has 10 strikeouts in his last 11 appearances. Going into Saturday’s game, his 83 strikeouts led all American League relievers. … Cody Ross left the game in the 10th inning for precautionary reasons after twisting his knee on a fielding play earlier in the game. After the game he said he felt fine.
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