BOSTON — Ervin Santana pitched seven strong innings and the Kansas City Royals ended Boston’s seven-game winning streak with a 4-2 win over the Red Sox in the opener of a day-night doubleheader on Sunday.
The nightcap was scheduled after Friday night’s game was postponed because of the manhunt for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Santana (2-1) allowed two runs on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. It was the third straight start in which he gave up two runs or less.
The Red Sox loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth against Bruce Chen and Aaron Crow, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded out to Crow. Greg Holland pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save in five opportunities.
The Royals scored three runs in the fourth with Salvador Perez’s two-run single breaking a 2-2 tie against Ryan Dempster (0-2).
The atmosphere at Fenway Park was more like a typical baseball game following the emotional pregame ceremony when the Red Sox returned to action Saturday.
Still, there were some signs that all was not the same.
The American flag in left-center field remained at half-staff, Red Sox players wore a “B STRONG” patch on their jerseys and a fan held a white sheet with the words “Veterans Luv Sox” on it while “God Bless America” was sung during the seventh-inning stretch.
And Boston’s Will Middlebrooks tweeted a photo of what he said was Johnny Gomes’ bat with the words “Boston Strong” and the names of the four people killed in the bombings and its aftermath on it.
The Royals took a 1-0 lead in the first on Alcides Escobar’s second homer of the season. It didn’t last long as the Red Sox scored twice in the bottom of the first when Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia singled, David Ortiz followed with an RBI single and Mike Napoli gave Boston a 2-1 lead with a run-scoring groundout.