By DOUG ALDEN, Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — Kiké Hernández led off with a homer for the third time in five days, Nathan Eovaldi pitched seven scoreless innings and the Boston Red Sox routed the struggling Kansas City Royals 15-1 on Thursday.READ MORE: Guerrero Hits 3-Run Homer Out Of Fenway As Jays Rout Red Sox 13-1
Danny Santana and Rafael Devers each homered and drove in five runs. J.D. Martinez also homered, starting Boston’s five-run fourth with his 17th of the season. Santana connected for a three-run shot later in the inning. Devers hit his 20th of the year, a three-run blast in the sixth.
The Red Sox hit four homers for the third time in five games and completed a four-game sweep of the Royals, who lost their ninth straight.
The Red Sox set a season high with 15 runs scored, en route to tying their largest lead of the season in the AL East, now 3.5 games ahead of the idle Tampa Bay Rays.
Eovaldi (9-4) allowed a pair of singles in the first and mostly cruised after that, scattering three more hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out six. Matt Andriese pitched the final two innings, allowing one unearned run.
Hernández drove the fourth pitch he saw from Kris Bubic (2-4) into the seats above the Green Monster, his ninth homer of the season. He also led off with a home run against Kansas City on Monday and in Sunday’s win over the Yankees.
The Red Sox followed with four runs in the fourth, four more in the fifth and three in the sixth.
The Royals started their 10-game trip by beating the Yankees on June 22 but haven’t won since. Jarrod Dyson doubled home Ryan O’Hearn for Kansas City’s only run.READ MORE: Red Sox Acquire Kyle Schwarber Via Trade With Nationals
Bubic pitched four innings, allowing five runs on four hits and three walks. Ervin Santana took over in the fifth and allowed four more runs, including one when we was called for a balk with the bases loaded.
Royals: INF Nicky Lopez, who fouled a ball off his foot Tuesday, was back in the lineup, starting at shortstop and batting ninth. He went 2-for-3.
Red Sox: 1B Bobby Dalbec missed a second straight game after leaving Tuesday night with tightness in his right hamstring.
Royals: RHP Brady Singer (3-6, 4.70 ERA) faces Minnesota lefty J.A. Happ (4-3, 5.83) as the Royals return home and open a three-game series against the Twins on Friday night.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (6-4, 5.83) faces RHP Frankie Montas (7-7, 4.72) as Boston opens a three-game series at Oakland on Friday night.MORE NEWS: Dodgers Finalizing Deal For Rumored Red Sox Target Max Scherzer; Yankees Acquire Anthony Rizzo
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)