Archive for Friday, May 23, 2008

Grand slams doom Royals

May 23, 2008

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— The Red Sox made winning look easy at Fenway Park the past few days.

A no-hitter, two grand slams in a game and two pitchers coming up from Triple-A to get wins - it couldn't have gone much better in a four-game sweep of Kansas City.

J.D. Drew and Mike Lowell supplied the slams Thursday to help Daisuke Matsuzaka remain unbeaten, and Boston completed a perfect seven-game homestand with an 11-8 victory 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.

"Everybody feels like they're doing something for us, and they are," Boston manager Terry Francona said.

After Lester's gem, Justin Masterson and Bartolo Colon were called up from Pawtucket and picked up wins.

"It closed a nice homestand for us," Lowell said. "The thing I like most is we plugged two new guys in."

Drew and Lowell were the first 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."

Brian Bannister (4-6) suffered the loss.

Boston's seven wins came after it dropped the final four of a 4-6 road trip. The Red Sox open a 10-game trip in Oakland on Friday night.

Lowell also had a double and single for the Red Sox, who started the homestand with a three-game sweep of Milwaukee.

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.

Matsuzaka (8-0) gave up three runs on six hits, walked six, struck out seven and threw two wild pitches while becoming the AL's first eight-game winner. Arizona's Brandon Webb has nine wins.

Jonathan Papelbon got the final 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.

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.

Olivo's three-run homer cut it to 11-8 in the eighth.

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