By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON The Red Sox entered the day winning at a .646 clip they havent maintained through a full baseball season since 1946.
Its a rocket-fueled pace theyll be hard-pressed to keep up, and Terry Franconas Boys of Summer slid back a little bit Thursday afternoon with a tight 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park.
Josh Beckett was saddled with his fourth loss of the season due to one bad frame in the fourth innning, and the Sox bats couldnt quite solve the Royals pitching after bombing them the two previous evenings.
Beckett was cruising until the fourth inning when a pair of walks to start the frame came back to haunt him. He made a few pitches to get ahead of Royals first baseman, but the country strong slugger smashed a low, outside fastball into the left field stands for a three-run bomb that jerked the lead away from Boston.
A Mike Moustakas RBI single later in the frame pushed Kansas City to a 4-2 lead in the ballgame, and Luke Hochevar did the rest for the Royals on a day when they needed some effective innings.
Beckett finished with six hits and four runs allowed along with eight strikeouts in seven innings of work on the losing side of the ledger.
It was all early offense for Boston with two of their three runs coming in the bottom of the third inning. Jason Varitek singled to center field and then scampered to third on a wall ball double by Yamaico Navarro. That set up Jacoby Ellsbury for his 61st and 62nd RBI of the season when he roped a single down the right field line that originally gave Beckett a pair of runs to work with.
Dustin Pedroia was 0-for-2 with a walk heading into an eighth inning at bat, but extended his hitting streak with a flourish by crushing an eye-high 96-mph fastball into the Green Monster seats for his 15th home run of the season.
Joakim Soria sat the Sox down in the bottom of the ninth to notch his 19th save of the season and give Kansas City a split in the four-game series.