By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
KANSAS CITY Its beginning to look like Kansas City was the perfect place for the road weary Red Sox to start catching their breath.
For the second straight night the Sox received quality pitching and steady offense, and for the second straight night the Sox took home a road win this time a 7-1 victory over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
The victory allowed the Sox to keep pace with the Yankees and remain a game back in the AL East standings.
The Sox offense was paced by a three-run Jarrod Saltalamacchia home run to deep left field on an 0-2 pitch in the top of the fifth inning off Royals lefty Jeff Francis, who will forever be linked to the ill-advised security stop of Dustin Pedroia at Coors field during the 2007 World Series. The three-run bomb by Saltalamacchia means the Sox backstop will also have a ready made line if he ever has a problem getting into the Kansas City ballpark.
Saltalamacchias home run drove the game out of reach, and allowed spot starter Andrew Miller plenty of room to work with.
Miller was simply effective in his first start since July 31 and allowed only three hits and a single run in 5 13 impressive innings before handing the ball off to Alfredo Aceves. The Sox righty finished out the final 3 23 scoreless innings for his second save of the year to go along with eight wins.
Miller and Aceves combined to hold a strong Royals offense to only four hits on the evening and virtually no sniff of offense after threatening early in the game.
Aside from Saltalamacchia and Miller, Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez busted out of an 0-for-14 slump over the last four games with a three hit performance after shaving off his goatee prior to Friday nights tilt against the Royals. The Sox offense pounded out 13 hits and five extra base knocks and served notice that they should be just fine without Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz for the next couple of weeks.
Ryan Lavarnway even chipped in with his first big league hit to right field after leaving the bases loaded in both the first and third innings when it was still a scoreless ballgame.
The Royals actually scrapped for the first run in the bottom of the third frame against Miller, but it was all Sox against Francis and the Kansas City bullpen after the third inning.