Boston In a season that quickly has turned sour for Boston, David Ortiz is giving Red Sox fans something to cheer for.
Ortiz hit his career-high 48th home run, and Wily Mo Pena drove in two runs to help the Boston Red Sox snap a three-game losing streak with a 9-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
Big Papi now stands two homers shy of tying the single-season franchise record for home runs. Jimmie Foxx set the record with 50 in 1938.
"It seems like it's a big deal here, so let's see if we can get it done," said Ortiz, who went 2-for-3 and scored three runs. "You've just got to take a couple of good swings, right? I've got plenty of time."
The Red Sox avoided being swept at home by the Royals for the first time since April 26-29, 1996. Boston remained 71â2 games behind the Minnesota Twins, who beat Detroit, 12-1, Sunday, in the wild-card race. The Red Sox trail the New York Yankees by 10 games in the American League East.
Pena, who started in left field and batted cleanup in place of Manny Ramirez, went 3-for-4. Ramirez sat out because of a sore right knee and was expected back Tuesday in Baltimore. Boston snapped a five-game losing streak to Kansas City.
Julian Tavarez (3-4) allowed three runs in 51â3 innings to win his first decision since moving into Boston's starting rotation Aug. 31 after making 52 relief appearances.
"Every time I go out there and I go four or five innings, I'm going to say I had a good outing because what I'm doing right now I wasn't prepared for," Tavarez said. "This is something I'm doing because my team needs it."
Tavarez, who before this season hadn't started a game since Sept. 17, 2002, didn't allow a hit until Emil Brown singled with two outs in the fourth inning.