KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Curt Schilling got cuffed around in his first start since April and the Kansas City Royals beat the Boston Red Sox 7-4 on Thursday night, their fourth win in five games since snapping a franchise-record 19-game losing streak.

Schilling (5-6), who was 3-1 in four postseason starts as Boston won the World Series last year, went five innings, giving up six runs and nine hits. Making his first start since April 23, a loss to Tampa Bay, Schilling had one walk and five strikeouts, including the last two batters he faced.

The six-time All-Star went on the disabled list on April 29 with a right ankle bruise after going 1-2 in three starts. He missed 69 games, then was 4-3 with nine saves in 11 opportunities while filling in for injured closer Keith Foulke. It was his first regular bullpen work since 1992.

He got the save in all three of the Red Sox’ victories over the Royals in Boston on Aug. 2-4.

While going 4-6 on their 10-game road trip, the first-place Red Sox saw their lead over the New York Yankees in the AL East shrink from 41/2 games to 21/2.

Emil Brown was 3-for-3 for the Royals, including a 422-foot solo homer off Jonathan Papelbon in the eighth. Denny Hocking and Paul Phillips, the Nos. 8 and 9 hitters, had RBI singles to left in the second and Terrence Long followed with an RBI single to center for a 3-0 lead. All three singles were hard hit.

Kansas City’s Mike Sweeney doubled leading off the second and eventually scored from third on a fielder’s choice grounder by Mark Teahen.

In the fifth, Hocking scored from first on a close play at the plate on David DeJesus’ double. DeJesus scored on Long’s sacrifice fly to make it 6-2.

Hocking’s one-out RBI single was the first run the Royals scored behind Jose Lima (5-12) in 24 2-3 innings, just short of the team record of 25 1-3 scoreless innings behind Kevin Appier. Lima went five-plus innings and was charged with three runs and five hits. He walked two and had one strikeout.

Mike MacDougal pitched the ninth for his 17th save.

Schilling began the season on the 15-day disabled list recovering from surgery to repair a detached tendon in his right ankle, a condition which caused blood to seep through his right sock while he pitched in the World Series and created one of the most compelling images of the year.

The Red Sox got two runs in the fourth on consecutive RBI doubles by Bill Mueller and Alex Cora with two outs.

After Manny Ramirez doubled leading off the sixth, Shawn Camp relieved Lima and gave up an RBI double to Jason Varitek on his first pitch. Cora’s fielder’s choice grounder made it 6-4.

The Royals, after the 19-game losing streak, have beaten Oakland and Boston twice each. It was their first home series win over the Red Sox since Aug. 1-3, 1997.

Notes: Royals 1B Matt Stairs appeared to injure himself stretching for a line drive in the fourth and was replaced by Joe McEwing. The team said he had a left hamstring strain and was day-to-day. … The Royals put INF Donnie Murphy on the 15-day DL and recalled OF Aaron Guiel from Triple-A Omaha. Murphy injured his finger on Wednesday night. Guiel was hitting .276 at Omaha with 30 home runs and 94 RBIs. … The Red Sox will make up their rained-out game of Aug. 14 against Chicago on Sept. 5, a scheduled day off. Without another day off until Sept. 22, Boston will play 30 consecutive days. … Boston’s David Ortiz did not start Thursday night after bruising his hand on a slide the night before.

AP-ES-08-25-05 2306EDT

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