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Royals win first game of double-header against the Red Sox

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Another strong start from Ervin Santana helped Kansas City defeat Boston.

Jim Rogash

The Kansas City Royals received a third straight quality start from Ervin Santana, managing to muster just enough offense to defeat the Boston Red Sox 4-2 in the first game of Sunday's double-header.

Santana looked shaky in the first two innings against the Red Sox, but settled down in the third. The right-handed pitcher allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings, striking out seven batters and walking none. Boston worked up his pitch count in the first two frames, but Santana did a good job in the final five throwing strikes and keeping Red Sox hitters off-balance.

Bruce Chen relieved Santana to start the eighth inning. Chen forced a Jacoby Ellsbury groundout and a Dustin Pedroia flyout, but Daniel Nava and David Ortiz both hit singles against the southpaw. Yost then removed Chen for Aaron Crow, who promptly walked Mike Napoli before Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a soft groundout to end the scoring threat.

Greg Holland struck out the first two batters he faced and pitched a perfect ninth inning to pick up the save.

The Royals offense did not look great, but gave Santana enough run support to get the win. Alcides Escobar smacked his second home run of the season in the first inning. Lorenzo Cain continued his hot hitting with an RBI-double and a walk. Salvador Perez hit a timely two-out single in the fourth inning, driving in Eric Hosmer and Cain.

The two teams will play again at 6 p.m. tonight. Jeremy Guthrie will face Allen Webster, who is making his major-league debut.