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


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

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

New photos show Sandoval has lost weight


New photos show Sandoval has lost weight

The last time a bunch of pictures of Pablo Sandoval made headlines, it was not a good sign for the Red Sox. The latest batch isn’t so bad. 

Sandoval became the story of spring training this season when photos -- specifically a Boston Globe one of him throwing -- revealed he’d gained significant weight. The veteran third baseman was surpassed by Travis Shaw for the starting job and began the season as a bench player. 

After three regular-season games, Sandoval was put on the disabled list with a shoulder strain. He was then shut down for the season in May due to shoulder surgery. 

In a tweet and story posted by FC Barcelona, a smiling -- and noticeably thinner -- Sandoval could be seen attending the club’s final training session. 

Sandoval, 30, is entering the third season of a five-year, $95 million contract. In his lone full season in Boston, 2015, Sandoval hit .245/.292/.366 with 10 homers and 47 RBI.

Red Sox prospect Moncada exits Arizona Fall League with sprained thumb


Red Sox prospect Moncada exits Arizona Fall League with sprained thumb

Top Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada has left the Arizona Fall League because of a sprained left thumb he sustained in a game there last week.

Moncada will not participate in baseball activities for two weeks but the team said in a statement he is expected to be ready for spring training. 

The switch-hitting Moncada, 21, had a slash line of .292/.370/.458, with a homer and three RBI, in six games for Surprise in the AFL.

The Cuban infielder, who signed with the Red Sox in February 2015, was called up in September but didn’t play after Sept. 12 following strikeouts in nine consecutive plate appearances.