KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Eric Hosmer didn't swing hard, but he punched a slow roller through the left side for a key sixth inning single.
Hosmer, Billy Butler and Justin Maxwell each collected three hits as the Kansas City Royals beat the Boston Red Sox, 9-6, on Friday night.
Hosmer's two-run two-out single in the Royals' six-run sixth, put the Royals ahead 7-6. It came off Drake Britton, the second of four Boston pitchers.
"With two strikes and a tough lefty and he's got a tough slider, I'm just trying to battle and put the ball in play right there and see what happens," Hosmer said. "Fortunately enough they had the shift going. Sometimes it's not how hard you hit it, but where you hit it."
Britton (1-1) ended up taking the loss.
"It was the right pitch and the right location," Britton said. "I got Hosmer 2-2 and threw the slider. He just stuck his bat out there and it found a hole."
Maxwell, who homered in the second, had two hits in the inning.
Butler, also, contributed a RBI-double in the inning.
"Just a bunch of big at-bats," Hosmer said. "The offense really bared down right there and came up with some timely hitting. The insurance runs with our bullpen, you feel really good going into the late innings.
"The offense did a great job of picking up Magic (Ervin Santana), all the times he's picked us up throughout the whole entire year."
The Royals, who are 17-4 since the All-Star break, trailed 6-3 entering the inning.
After starter Ervin Santana's early exit, four Kansas City relievers combined to shut down the Red Sox on two hits for 5 1/3 innings. Francisley Bueno picked up the victory, allowing one hit in 2 2/3 innings.
"The six-run sixth inning was really fun to be a part of," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "The bullpen was dynamite. Bueno coming in and pitching in 2 1/3 innings to hold it right there, gave us a chance to crawl back in the game.
Greg Holland logged his 24th consecutive save, working a flawless ninth, striking out two.
Mike Napoli, who snapped a season-worst five-game hitless streak Thursday, put the Red Sox up 6-3 in the fourth with a three-run double to center.
"I just got some hits tonight," Napoli said. "I'm doing the same thing, trying to have good at-bats, trying to get on top of the ball and be on time. I've been putting in the work and trying to have good at-bats."
After Royals right-hander Santana retired the first two batters in the fourth, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz singled and Daniel Nava was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Napoli drilled a 2-1 pitch to deep center to clear the bases and finish Santana's evening.
Santana, who was 3-0 in his previous four starts, gave up six runs, nine hits and two walks and also hit two batters in 3 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season.
Nava singled home Shane Victorino in the first inning for the initial Red Sox run. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, also, contributed a run-producing double in the second. Ortiz homered in the third.
Maxwell and Alex Gordon blasted bases-empty home runs for the Royals in the second and third innings. Rookie David Lough's two-out single in the third scored Alcides Escobar with the third Kansas City run.
Jake Peavy, who was making his second Red Sox start since being acquired in a July 30 trade from the Chicago White Sox, gave up six runs and 10 hits in five innings plus three batters.
"You can tell they're playing well and when you play well you have confidence," Peavy said. "They put the ball in play. In April I handled them pretty well. Tonight I got behind a few times. I left a ball up and Maxwell hit the home run.
"Gordon was a guy who wasn't swinging the bat as well coming into the game and I wanted to challenge him. They put the ball in play and when you put the ball in play good things happen."
NOTES: Royals OFs Lorenzo Cain and Gordon added a hit before Friday's game. After an appeal, both were awarded hits from last Sunday's game at New York in which Daniel Murphy and Marlon Byrd were originally charged with errors after losing balls in the sun. ... Red Sox RHP Alex Wilson, who went on the disabled list July 9, continues to have problems with his right thumb. "He's having recurring discomfort," Red Sox Farrell said. "He'll have to be re-examined by a hand specialist." ... Red Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury stole his major league-leading 41st base in the second inning.