Alex Gordon shines in Royals 4-3 victory

Ed Zurga

Kansas City - where AL East contenders fear to tread.

The Kansas City Royals won their seventh straight series Sunday night, defeating the Boston Red Sox 4-3 at Kauffman Stadium behind some strong play from Alex Gordon and a solid start from James Shields.

Shields surrendered his contractually mandated first inning run, although the run wasn't entirely his fault. Shane Victorino hit a one-out double, then stole third base during a David Ortiz strikeout. Salvador Perez attempted to pick Victorino off third base with two outs and Daniel Nava at the plate, but the ball bounced of the runner into left field, allowing Victorino to score.

The Royals got the run back in their half of the first. David Lough and Eric Hosmer drew back-to-back walks against John Lackey, but Billy Butler hit into a double play, leaving Lough on third with two outs. Gordon picked up Butler with an RBI-single, tying the game.

Kansas City took the lead with a pair of runs in the second. Mike Moustakas led off the inning with a double, then advanced to third on Alcides Escobar sacrifice bunt.  Jarrod Dyson plated Moustakas with a single, then swiped second base. Lough drove in Dyson with a two-out single, giving the Royals a 3-1 lead.

Gordon drove in the Royals fourth and final run of the day, roping a 2-2 fastball from Lackey into rightfield for a solo home run. The outfielder also had a strong day defensively, holding on to an impressive catch while running into the outfield wall.

Gordon led the team with three hits, while Perez smacked a single and drew a walk in his first game back from the 7-day DL.

Shields surrendered two more runs in the sixth. Ryan Lavarnway hit two-out RBI single past a diving Moustakas, but ended the inning with a Will Middlebrooks strikeout.

The Royals starter did not have his best stuff, but ended up working seven quality innings, holding the Red Sox to seven hits and three walks while striking out five. Boston grounded into double plays in the second and third innings, helping limit the damage.

Tim Collins and Aaron Crow worked a scoreless eighth, while Greg Holland struck out two more batters to record his 32nd save of the year.

The Royals improved to 61-54 on the season, picking up a game on the Tigers, who lost 5-4 to the Yankees. In other scoreboard watching news, the Athletics, Indians and Rangers all won, while the Orioles were losing to the Giants and the Rays face the Dodgers on Sunday Night Baseball.

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