Lester, Red Sox take series finale from Royals, 6-1

Lester, Red Sox take series finale from Royals, 6-1
August 21, 2011, 9:32 pm
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By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
KANSAS CITY Jon Lester entered Sunday having allowed one run or less in five out of his six career starts against the Kansas City Royals. On Sunday, the ace left-hander continued to dominate in KC.

Lester battled through an early jam after a Jed Lowrie error at shortstop, and mastered the Kansas City hitters on his way to a 6-1 victory at Kauffman Stadium that raised his career mark to 5-1 against the Royals.

The win gives the Sox three victories in the four-game series and sets them up for a challenging series in Texas with potential first round playoff foe, the reigning American League champion Rangers.

The Sox lefty pitched into the seventh inning before a Kansas City rally punctuated by a Mike Moustakas RBI single knocked Lester out of the game and prompted a rare two-inning relief job from Daniel Bard. Lester finished with one run allowed on three hits and a slightly wild four walks to go along with three strikeouts while battling the Kansas City heat on the mound.

Bard arrived on the scene with the tying run on base and nobody out in a 3-1 ballgame, and proceeded to blow away Alcides Escobar, Alex Gordon and Melky Cabrera to escape the jam.

Not hard to believe it would be a good day for the Sox when their offense gets a triple from Jason Varitek and solo home runs from Darnell McDonald and Carl Crawford, but thats exactly what happened for the Red Stockings.

McDonald actually had his first three-hit game of the season and has climbed to .196 with his batting average after struggling through most of the season.

The Sox busted things open in the top of the eighth with a three-run uprising keyed by a Ryan Lavarnway RBI double that came within inches of landing as his first major league home run.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs