KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Second baseman Omar Infante, who was dropped from second to seventh in the batting order, went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and right-hander Jeremy Guthrie pitched eight strong innings as the Kansas City Royals defeated the Boston Red Sox 7-1 on Saturday night.
Designated hitter Nori Aoki, who batted second for the first time this season, and left fielder Alex Gordon each had two hits and drove in a run.
Manager Ned Yost scrambled his lineup after the Royals had scored two or fewer runs in nine of their previous 14 games.
Guthrie (11-11), who allowed eight runs on 10 hits in 2 2-3 innings in a loss at Detroit in his previous start, retired 17 in a row after designated hitter David Ortiz’s third inning single. He allowed three hits and one unearned run in eight innings.
The Royals, who had scored two or fewer runs in nine of the previous 14 games, scored five runs in the first four innings.
Shortstop Alcides Escobar opened the first inning with a double to left and scored when Aoki slapped an opposite-field single. Aoki went to third on a groundout and scored on catcher Christian Vazquez’s throwing error on a pickoff throw.
The Royals tacked on three more in the fourth. Right fielder Lorenzo Cain doubled and went to third on Gordon’s single, which snapped an 0-for-21 skid. Catcher Salvador Perez doubled home Cain. Gordon came home on second baseman Infante’s groundout. Right-hander Rubby De La Rosa’s balk scored Perez.
De La Rosa, who has not won in six starts, was pulled after four innings.
The Red Sox got an unearned run in the third when third baseman Mike Moustakas committed his third error in as many games, allowing second baseman Mookie Betts to reach first. Betts raced to third on Ortiz’s single and scored on left fielder Yoenis Cespedes’s sacrifice fly.
NOTES: Red Sox rookie Mookie Betts, who had started 36 games in the outfield, made his big league debut at second base. … Royals LHP Danny Duffy, who has thrown only pitch in September because of a sore shoulder, plans to throw a light bullpen session Sunday. If all goes well, Duffy is hoping to return to the rotation Tuesday against the White Sox. … Royals LHP Jason Vargas will start the series finale Sunday, making his first appearance against the Red Sox since Sept. 3, 2012, while with the Mariners.