Kansas City Royals

Royals awaken, blast Red Sox

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —With an eight-run sixth inning Saturday night, the Royals, temporarily anyway, were able to scream "enough" to what has been a rough ride through August with a 9-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Kauffman Stadium.

They sent 12 hitters to the plate while collecting seven hits, including RBI doubles by Jeff Francoeur and Mike Moustakas, a two-run double by Alex Gordon and a two-run triple by Eric Hosmer.

For one glorious inning, the Royals had Boston's outfielders scrambling back and forth across the Kauffman acreage like heifers on branding day.

"We haven't been scoring many runs," Moustakas said. "That's not a secret. Our offense has been a little dormant lately. To have an inning like that today, with them up by three, it just helps everybody."

The eight-run inning matched a season high — and couldn't have come at a better time. The Royals had lost six of their previous seven games and 10 of their previous 12.

The Royals also scored eight runs in the eighth inning on April 30 in an 11-2 victory over Minnesota at Kauffman Stadium.

"That sixth inning was pretty special to watch," manager Ned Yost said. "A lot of action in that inning. I guess Hos getting the two hits, he won the prize for the inning."

Hosmer started the burst with a one-out single before capping it with his two-run triple.

"I think that's more hits than I've had in the last three weeks," he said. "So I'll take that. That inning got our offense going. Hopefully, we can continue that and string some wins here together and get on a roll."

The big inning came just in time to benefit hard-luck Felipe Paulino, who won for just the second time in 14 starts since joining the Royals' rotation. Paulino (2-5) allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings.

"I really appreciate all of the hitting we did today," he said. "The last (several) weeks, I've been trying to keep the game close. But, finally, we won."

Boston starter Tim Wakefield carried a 4-1 lead into the sixth in search of his 200th career victory. He exited after surrendering two runs on successive one-out doubles by Francoeur and Moustakas.

The Royals raked relievers Matt Albers and Franklin Morales for six more runs. One of those runs was charged to Wakefield. The other five belonged to Albers, although two scored on Hosmer's two-run triple against Morales.

"A lot of balls caught the plate," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said, "and there was just a ton of two-out runs. It killed us. We went to Morales, but we just couldn't seem to stop the bleeding that inning."

Albers (4-4) was the loser.

Blake Wood, Tim Collins and Greg Holland protected Paulino's victory by combing for three scoreless innings. The Royals now have a chance to split the four-game series — if they can beat Jon Lester in this afternoon's finale.

The loss kept the Red Sox from leaping past the Yankees and into first place in the American League East Division.

The Royals finished with 14 hits, including three by Gordon and two apiece from Butler, Hosmer, Francoeur and Moustakas. Gordon's one-out single in the eighth was the 500th hit of his career.

"I had no idea it was coming up," Gordon said, "but I heard everybody clapping and looked up and saw it. Whenever you do something like that, it's great to do it at home, because you get that recognition from the fans. That was surprising and good to see."

Seven players had RBIs, and all nine starters scored a run. The last team to score nine runs with one by each starter was Milwaukee on June 3, 2007 in a 9-6 victory at Florida. The Royals haven't done it since a 9-3 victory at Oakland on July 28, 2001.

"I felt we were putting good swings on Wakefield early," Hosmer said, "but, finally, in that sixth inning, we strung some hits together. Once you get a couple of hits together, it seems like hitting is contagious. Everyone in the lineup was doing their part."

Boston built as 4-1 lead by scoring once in the third on a double-play grounder, two in the fourth on an RBI single by Carl Crawford and a sacrifice fly by Darnell McDonald, and one in the sixth on Ryan Lavarnway's RBI single.

The Royals had only an RBI double by Butler in the third inning before their eight-run knockout. Hosmer's single preceded RBI doubles by Francoeur and Moustakas, which finished Wakefield.

Albers replaced Wakefield and walked Salvador Perez before surrendering an RBI single to Chris Getz. Alcides Escobar flied to right, but Gordon drove a two-run double into the left-center gap for a 6-4 lead.

Melky Cabrera followed with an RBI single — a notable RBI; his 74th of the season, which established a career best. Cabrera had 73 RBIs in 2007 with the Yankees. He took second on the throw home, which prompted an intentional walk to Butler.

The Red Sox brought in Morales for a left-on-left matchup against Hosmer, who yanked a 2-1 fastball into the right-center gap for a two-run triple and a 9-4 lead.

"Once we get everyone firing on all cylinders," Hosmer said, "it's a dangerous lineup."