Red Sox 5, Royals 1 Optional
BOSTON (AP) _ Kevin Morton doesn’t think Fenway Park is such a bad place for left-handed pitchers.
″You just can’t be intimdated pitching here,″ the rookie said Sunday after he led the Red Sox over the Royals 5-1, Boston’s ninth victory in 11 games.
Morton (3-2) allowed seven hits in 7 2-3 innings, struck out five and walked two before Dennis Lamp finished.
″The idea that a left-hander can’t pitch in Fenway Park is a fallacy,″ said Morton, called up from the minors on July 5. ″John Tudor, Bruce Hurst and others have proven that a left-hander can win here. And, hopefully, I’ll be around a long time to win my share.″
Morton’s performance was his best since he beat Detroit 10-1 in a nine- inning debut on the day of his recall.
″I know it was a big game,″ Morton said. ″I wanted to get ahead of the hitters and get my curveball over. I’ve been working on a change and a curve. I also came in a lot with my fastball. We decided before the game to go with the easy breaking stuff outside and pop the fastball inside.″
Jack Clark provided the offense, driving in three runs with his 21st homer and a bases-loaded walk. He has 10 homers and 36 RBIs in his last 35 games, including seven homers and 26 RBIs in his last 19.
″You just have to focus in on what you have to do,″ Clark said. ″We have to do our job. Now we have to concentrate on Cleveland coming in here of three games. They’re not winning a lot, but they’re playing a lot of close games.″
Kevin Appier (10-8) lost for the first time in 12 starts since June 7, a span than included seven victories and seven no-decisions. Appier, who shut out Boston and New York in his previous two starts, allowed five hits in five innings, walked five and struck out five.
″We had a good run for six or eight weeks, but we just couldn’t sustain that,″ Kansas City manager Hal McRae said. ″We’re just not swinging the bats real well. We didn’t bunch any hits today. We want to put our motion game in order, but you can’t if you don’t have a lot of baserunners. For us to be effective, we’ve got to have three or four guys get hot so we can put our motion game on.″
Appier worked out of bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the first, but fell behind 2-0 in the third when Phil Plantier reached on catcher’s interference by Tim Spehr and Clark hit his 14th home run of the season at Fenway Park.
Boston added three runs in the fourth. Mo Vaugn doubled and scored on Luis Rivera’s single, Wade Boggs walked and Steve Lyons hit an RBI double. Appier then walked Plantier and Clark, forcing in Boggs.
Kansas City led off seven of the first eight innings with hits, but only one runner reached third in the first seven innings. That happened in the first, when Brian McRae was tagged out on a rundown between third and home on George Brett’s comebacker to the mound.
The Royals got a run in the eighth when McRae singled, took second on a groundout and scored on a single by Danny Tartabull, the first batter to face Lamp.
Notes:. Brett’s fourth-inning single gave him 4,511 total bases, tying him with Mickey Mantle for 22nd place on the career list. ... Boggs went 0-for-2, ending his 10-game hitting streak and dropping his average to .337. ... The Red Sox won the season series 7-5, the first time since 1979 that they won the season series against Kansas City. ... Boston left the bases loaded five times in the series. ... Carlos Quintana missed the game with an abscessed tooth and Ellis Burks missed his third straight start because of hurting knees. ... Boston is just 6-13 on Sundays, including 2-8 at Fenway Park.