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Friday, May 23, 2008

Red Sox pull off something even more rare than a no-hitter

It's hard to believe that the Kansas City Royals (21-26) came into town playing good baseball since the Red Sox embarassed them in a four-game sweep.

In its seventh consecutive win, Boston (31-19) closed it out yesterday afternoon by hitting two grand slams-by J.D. Drew (2 for 4, 2 runs) and Mike Lowell (3 for 4, 3 runs). Something Red Sox teammates hadn't done at home since 1984. Bill Mueller (from both sides of the plate) actually hit two grand slams in a game at the Rangers in 2003.

Dice-K (8-0) was pretty terrible yet nobody can lose with that kind of run support. He went 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on six hits with six walks and seven strikeouts. He threw a whopping 118 pitches. It also marked the third time already this season that Dice-K has walked six or more batters.

Jose Guillen (4 for 5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs) had an RBI single which scored Alex Gordon in the first but Drew hit his grand slam over the Monster in the bottom of the second off Royals starter Brian Bannister (4-6).

Kevin Youkilis (2 hits) added an RBI single in the third before Guillen and Miguel Olivo (3 for 5, 3 runs, 5 RBIs) both had RBI doubles in the fifth.

Facing Manny Ramirez with men on first and second, Royals manager Trey Hillamen elected to have Jimmy Gobble walk Ramirez. Lowell made them pay by crushing the grand slam over the Monster to give the Red Sox an 11-3 lead.

Sox relievers Craig Hansen (1 inning, 2 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks) and David Aardsma (1 inning, 3 hits, 3 runs) did their best to make it interesting. Guillen had a solo home run off Hansen and Olivo had an RBI double. Finally, Olivio notched a three-run bomb off Aardsma.

Jonathan Papelbon was forced to come in the ninth and despite giving up two hits, he recorded his 14th save of the season.

Boston left after the game for another 10-game road trip. They go from Oakland to Seattle and then another series in Baltimore.