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Royals Recap: Chen Throws A Gem; Butler, Maxwell Homer

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The Kansas City Royals (59-53) started off the series with the AL East leading Boston Red Sox (70-47) in a positive manner, taking the first game 5-1.

Aug 8, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Bruce Chen (52) delivers a pitch in the fifth inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

Bruce Chen was magnificent once again. He hurled 7.2 scoreless frames, allowing 5 hits and walking just 1. He pitched to contact, striking out only 2. As in several of his other outings, Chen was inducing pop-ups all evening long.

Luke Hochevar came on with 2 on and 2 outs in the 8th and got the final out. He did allow a run in the 9th but ended up with his second save of the season.

At the Plate

The Royals offense was pretty dormant most of the night but they did get 3 runs in the first and 2 more in the 8th. There were only 2 hits in between. Billy Butler and Justin Maxwell provided the insurance runs with a solo homer each in the Royals’ last at bat.

This and That

Kansas City now lead the all time series with the Red Sox 221-220. The Royals lead the series 121-97 in Kansas City.

Justin Maxwell has played in 6 games for the Royals. He has 14 plate appearances so far. He has produced 5 hits, including 2 home runs, 4 runs scored, 4 RBI, and 2 walks. He has struck out just once.

In Chen’s first five starts of he has an ERA of 1.14 and a WHIP of .632. He has 23 strikeouts and 4 walks.

It is a little surprising there were only a little over 21,000 fans in Kauffman Stadium on a beautiful Thursday night. Hopefully, there will be more over the weekend.

Danny Duffy was optioned back to Omaha and left handed reliever Francisley Bueno was called to take his place on the roster.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Got to go with that sweet Chen Music, for his nearly 8 innings of shutout ball.

Aug 8, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Justin Maxwell (27) rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the ninth inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox

Jon Lester threw 41 pitches in the 1st inning and allowed 3 runs. Two were unearned when left fielder Johnny Gomes misplayed a little soft fly ball to shallow left. Lester buckled down and and only allowed 2 more hits through the 7th inning. he threw 80 pitches in his final 6 frames.

Jacoby Ellsbury and Stephen Drew each had 2 hits on the night. Everyone else combined for 3.

Up Next

Ervin Santana (8-6, 2.97 ERA) will try spin his magic against the Red Sox’ newest acquisition, starter Jake Peavy (9-4, 4.14 ERA) on Friday at 7:10.

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (68-45): The Tigers and Max Scherzer just keep rolling along. Detroit extended their winning streak to 12 and Scherzer improved his record to 17-1 with a 10-3 blasting of the Indians. Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez each drove in 3 runs.

Cleveland Indians (62-53): Zach McAllister got shellacked early by the Tigers. In just 2.1 innings, he gave up 6 runs (5 earned), on 4 hits and 4 walks. The Indians were swept by Tigers and a re now just a game and a half ahead of the Royals for second place in the AL Central.

Minnesota Twins (49-62): Idle Thursday but the Twins start a 3-game series on the road against the White Sox.

Chicago White Sox (43-69): Idle Thursday but they host the Twins this weekend.