BOSTON - If the Red Sox are serious about making a second-half run, improbable as that might seem, Friday was a nice way to start.
Limited to a single run on five hits over the first five innings, the Red Sox erupted for four runs in the sixth to stage a 5-4 comeback win over the Kansas City Royals and kick off the second half of the season in style.
Xander Bogaerts, who hadn't homered in more than a month, got the rally started with a two-run shot into the center field bleachers with Daniel Nava (single) aboard.
Following a J.D. Drew double and a strikeout of David Ross, Kansas City lifted starter James Shields for lefty Scott Downs. The Red Sox countered with pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes, who cranked a two-run pinch-hit homer into the same bleachers, giving the Red Sox their first lead of the night.
Clay Buchholz, who was dominant in his final start of the first half, was less so Friday night, cuffed around for 10 hits and four runs over the first six innings.
When the Sox staged their comeback in the bottom of the sixth, it was enough to get Buchholz his second straight win and third in five outings since returning from the DL last month.
Buchholz was touched for a run in the first when the Royals used The Wall to take an early lead on a double from Omar Infante and a single by Eric Hosmer.
Four straight hits by the Royals in the fourth produced two more runs. Kansas City padded its lead with a run in the fifth when Nori Aoki singled, stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on Hosmer's single to center.
The Sox got three scoreless innings of relief from Burke Badenhop, Andrew Miller, Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara, the latter of whom got his 19th save of the season.