KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jeremy Hermida and Jason Varitek homered on consecutive pitches from Zack Greinke and the Boston Red Sox went deep five times in an 8-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.
Varitek added a second homer and Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia also connected for the Red Sox, helping Josh Beckett to remain unbeaten against Kansas City.
Beckett (1-0), in his first game since signing a four-year, $68 million contract extension, allowed three runs and nine hits in seven innings. He had one walk and four strikeouts while beating the Royals for the fifth straight start. In eight career starts against the Royals, Beckett is 6-0.
Greinke (0-1) had a 1-0 lead after four but Hermida hit a 1-1 pitch leading off the fifth for his first home run. Varitek then slammed Greinke’s next delivery into the Royals bullpen, marking the first time in Greinke’s career the right-hander had allowed home runs on consecutive pitches.
Varitek, making his first start of the year, homered off Luis Mendoza in the ninth. Three batters later Pedroia hit a two-run shot, giving him three RBIs. Youkilis led off the Boston eighth with a solo homer off Dusty Hughes.
In his first two starts, Greinke has given up five earned runs — one more than he allowed in his first eight starts a year ago.
He yielded eight hits and four runs in 6 2-3 innings, with five strikeouts and no walks. He also hit two batters, including Marco Scutaro, who scored on Jacoby Ellsbury’s RBI double in the seventh. Pedroia made it 4-1 with a sacrifice fly.
Jason Kendall had an RBI single for KC in the bottom of the seventh and then Chris Getz singled, stole second and scored on an RBI single by David DeJesus that appeared to slightly graze the back of Beckett’s head.
Rick Ankiel had an RBI single for Kansas City in the first, his fifth straight hit. Ankiel, who was 4 for 4 on Thursday night, doubled in the fourth to make it six hits in six at-bats before popping up in his next appearance.
NOTES: Mike Lowell, the former gold glover who made his first start of the year at third base for Boston, turned in a terrific play on Yuniesky Betancourt’s hard-hit grounder in the second. … Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched five scoreless innings in a minor league rehab assignment Saturday for Triple-A Pawtuckett. … Ankiel made a fine running catch of Victor Martinez’s drive deep into center.