BOSTON - Beleaguered Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, ejected in the fifth inning of Sunday's game at Fenway Park, wasn't around to see his two newest players help his team to an 8-6 win over the Royals. First baseman James Loney, the lone major leaguer acquired from the Dodgers in the weekend's mega-deal, singled home the tying run in the fifth inning, and reliever Pedro Beato worked two-plus innings of relief for the win as the in-flux Sox avoided dropping to a season-worst eight games under .500. Jacoby Ellsbury broke a 4-4 tie and gave Boston the lead for good with an RBI single off the glove of leaping first baseman Eric Hosmer in the sixth inning as the Red Sox won on a day that revealed they might be without slugger David Ortiz for the rest of the season. Ortiz returned Friday night after missing 35 games with an Achilles strain and said after that game he was having discomfort. He sat out both Saturday and Sunday. Loney hit into a double play with runners at first and third and one out in the first inning and grounded out in the third before coming through with two out in the fifth. He was 1-for-5 in his debut. Beato, acquired in the deal that sent Kelly Shoppach to the Mets earlier this month, relieved starter Felix Doubront (five innings in his first start off the disabled list), worked two scoreless innings before two singles and a walk loaded the bases with nobody out in the eighth. Craig Breslow relieved and got a strikeout and a sacrifice fly (Cody Ross lost the ball in the sun but made an acrobatic catch) before Tony Abreu singled home a run. Breslow then fought back from a 3-0 count and caught Lorenzo Cain looking to end the inning, and Dustin Pedroia led off the bottom of the frame with his 12th homer of the season. Mark Melancon, who failed in an early-season shot at the closer role, pitched the ninth for his first American League save. Ellsbury's two-out hit delivered an unearned run, after shortstop Alcides Escobar made an error. Escobar made another one, with the bases loaded and two out in the seventh, for another run. Pedro Ciriaco (three hits, including a home run, 17-for-35 over the last six games) then beat out an infield hit for a third unearned run. Valentine was tossed by first base umpire Dan Bellino after Bellino blew a call on Pedroia in the Sox fifth. Ciriaco homered off KC starter and loser Will Smith (4-6), and Cain ripped a three-run shot (No. 5) off Doubront in a four-run fourth that gave the Royals a 4-2 lead. Before the game, Valentine said he and general manager Ben Cherington met with Ortiz Saturday night and indicated this might be it for the designated hitter, who returned Friday night for one game and had hits his first two times up, the first a two-run single. "We're probably there. We're just going to give it a couple of days to see," Valentine said. "... We're definitely not going to do anything to jeopardize David's career. David totally wants to do everything he can to be part of this team this year and in the future. So that's what we're dealing with." That means the possibility remains that Ortiz, a potential free agent after the season and upset with Boston's unwillingness to give him more than one year at a time, may have played his final games in a Red Sox uniform. The Red Sox have gone 14-23 without Ortiz, who is hitting .318 with 23 homers, 60 RBIs and a 1.026 OPS, out of the lineup with this injury. NOTES: KC All-Star Billy Butler struck out four times and had a single. ... The ejection was Valentine's fifth of the season, the 42nd of his managerial career. ... Loney flew across the country to become available for Sunday's game and will fly back to California with his new team after Monday's series finale with the Royals. The Red Sox were heading to Anaheim after the game. ... Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to pitch Monday for the Red Sox. Luke Hochevar pitches Monday for the Royals. ... The Sox played the second of three games without suspended (by the team) closer Alfredo Aceves, which led to the call to Pawtucket for Beato. ... Loney and Beato become Boston's 51st and 52nd players in 2012. ... KC third baseman Mike Moustakas, who snapped an 0-for-18 slump with a game-tying two-run triple in the seventh inning Saturday night, was rested Sunday. ... Saturday night's 10-9 loss dropped the Red Sox to 0-26 this season when allowing seven or more runs in a game. ... Sunday was Maine Day at Fenway. ... The Red Sox returned outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin to Pawtucket after a one-day stay.
- David Ortiz
- James Loney