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Royals have no answers for Colon

Royals have no answers for Colon

BOSTON -- No matter what uniform Bartolo Colon shows up in, it usually means trouble for the Royals.

There he was on Wednesday night in Boston Red Sox livery, looking suitably stout and grand, just summoned from Triple-A Pawtucket to make the 307th start of his career.

It went well. Colon worked five innings and got credit for Boston's 6-3 victory, its third straight over Kansas City in this series. There's still one game to go, on Thursday afternoon.

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Colon raised his career record against the Royals to 15-7 in 25 starts. Maybe he wasn't in his Cy Young Award-winning form, but he held the Royals to two runs on six hits.

"He doesn't throw as hard, but he still has good stuff," Joey Gathright said. "He kept the ball down, kept us on our toes. He still has good stuff no matter where he's been and how long he's been gone. He's still Colon."

Gathright scored all three Royals runs, reaching base in all four of his appearances with two singles and two walks. He bunted for one hit and stole a base. He was a very busy guy after sitting out four games with a shoulder injury.

"That's what I'm supposed to do, right?" he said.

Gathright scored each time on an RBI single -- by Jose Guillen, Alex Gordon and David DeJesus.

Other than that, the Royals again left eight runners on base. They've scored just four runs in the three games and, in one of those, they didn't even get a hit.

This comes after they'd won two of three games from another first-place club, the Florida Marlins, and outslugged them 19-16.

"It's been kind of a different team from Florida to here," Gordon said. "But the Boston Red Sox are a great team, and they have great pitching, and that could be it, but we're not hitting as a club right now.

"It kind of seemed like in Florida that everything was clicking and rolling, but give credit to the Red Sox. They're a great team."

Gordon has reached base seven straight times (four hits and three walks) in the last two games and, on this trip, he's batted .500 (9-for-18).

"That doesn't really matter unless we win," he said. "I'm just trying to take what they give me. If they're going to walk me, I'll take it."

Starter Brett Tomko was greeted rudely, by Jacoby Ellsbury's leadoff home run in the first inning, and in the fifth, he was chased out of Fenway by Ellsbury.

Jason Varitek pounded a home run into the right-field bullpen. Coco Crisp hustled to a double and raced home on Julio Lugo's single. When Ellsbury followed with a single, Tomko's outing was over.

"The big inning. It happened real fast in that fifth inning," Tomko said. "I tried to bury a slider to Varitek on the home run, and it kind of hung in the middle of the plate.

"Any time you give up four hits in a row, you're asking for it. ... They pieced together the four hits, and that was it."

Left-hander Ron Mahay took the mound and gave up an RBI single to Dustin Pedroia. David Ortiz lofted a sacrifice fly, Mahay uncorked a wild pitch for another run and the Red Sox led, 5-2.

That was enough, as four Red Sox relievers divvied up the last four innings to clinch a sixth straight victory. The Red Sox are the first Major League club to reach 30 wins.

"It's a tough lineup," Tomko said. "It's the reason they're at the top of their division. They've got guys that are pesky, that have speed. You try to keep the first couple of guys off base to go through the heart of their lineup, but there's a reason for what they did last year and what they're doing this year. They've got a good ballclub."

Yes, and, after Jon Lester's no-hitter, they were able to call up two pitchers from Pawtucket to also mesmerize the Royals -- rookie Justin Masterson and old pro Colon.

Three more chalk marks on the Red Sox side of the ledger. Against the Royals at Fenway Park, they have a 16-5 record since 2003.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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