Game 123 - Red Sox 4, Royals 3

It's almost tempting to say, "No Youk? No Papi? No problem; we've got Pedey in the #4 hole." Batting in the cleanup spot in the lineup for the 8th time this season, Dustin Pedroia went 3-for-4 including his 28th double of the season, drove in 3 runs and stole a base in a much-needed win for the Red Sox. Josh Beckett went 7 innings for his 10th win of the season. He allowed 3 runs on 7 hits including Alex Gordon's 2-run home run in the 3rd inning which tied the score at 3 at the time. Beckett struck out 4 and didn't walk anyone.

No one would have called a mid-August game against the Royals a "must win" situation, especially with a playoff spot virtually guaranteed, but having lost 5 of their last 7 games, there was at least a little sense of urgency last night especially with David Ortiz (right heel bursitis) and Kevin Youkilis (placed on the 15-day DL with back issues) out of the lineup again.

The Red Sox are now 6-2 with Pedroia batting 4th this year. He's hitting .400 (14-for-35) with 8 runs batted in. In 14 career games, he is hitting .491 (27-for-55) with seven doubles, five homers and 15 RBIs.


Jonathan Papelbon earned his 29th save of the season. He's gone 14 innings without giving up a run.

Kevin Youkilis was placed on the 15-day disabled list before the game with lower back issues. He did not make the trip with the team, staying behind to take an injection. The Red Sox called up Ryan Lavarnway from Pawtucket. Though he's a catcher, it's expected Lavarnway will DH while he's up with the "big club." He batted 7th last night.

David Ortiz was out of the lineup again and though his right heel was said to be feeling better, there's speculation that he will not play at on all this current 8-game road trip.

Marco Scutaro missed his 5th consecutive game with a sore back. Mike Aviles started at short for Boston.