KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chris Sale struck out 12 in six innings, Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts homered, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 10-5 on Friday night.
Sale’s 16-inning scoreless streak was snapped by Alcides Escobar’s two-out RBI single in the second, but that was it for the skidding Royals against the ace left-hander. Sale (9-4) has allowed one run and 10 hits over 20 innings in his past three starts.
Boston stretched its win streak to four with its ninth victory in 11 games overall. It leads the majors with 60 victories and a .674 winning percentage.
The Red Sox jumped on Jason Hammel (2-11) for eight runs in the first two innings.
Betts drove Hammel’s third pitch over the center-field fence for his 100th career homer. It was his fourth leadoff drive this season.
Brock Holt added a two-run single as Boston batted around in a four-run first.
Martinez and Bogaerts each hit a two-run shot in the second. It was Martinez’s major league-leading 27th homer, and Bogaerts improved to 6 for 11 with two homers and seven RBIs versus Hammel.
Hammel was pulled after the second. The veteran right-hander has surrendered 23 runs, 21 earned, and 28 hits in 12 innings in his past three starts. He leads the AL in losses, and his ERA is up to 6.16.
Mike Moustakas hit a two-run homer in the eighth for Kansas City, which has dropped seven straight and 19 of 22. Burch Smith pitched four scoreless innings in relief of Hammel.
The Royals are 37 games below .500 for the first time since finishing the 2006 season with a 62-100 record. Since June 1, they have been outscored 165-72 while losing 26 of 31.
Royals slugger Lucas Duda tripled in the seventh inning. It was his first three-base hit since July 17, 2011.
The Royals claimed left-hander Enny Romero off waivers from the Pirates. Rookie right-hander Trevor Oaks was optioned to Triple-A Omaha. The Royals also transferred right-hander Blaine Boyer (lower back strain) from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day.
Royals prospect Seuly Matias was named to the All-Star Futures Game on July 15 in Washington. The 19-year-old outfielder has 24 home runs with Class A Lexington. The Red Sox representative is right-hander Bryan Mata, who at 19 is the youngest pitcher in the Class A Carolina League, where he is 5-2 with a 3.14 ERA.
NOTES: Red Sox: INF Dustin Pedroia (left knee inflammation) returned to Boston to be evaluated by the medical staff. “For them to see firsthand how he was reacting to certain drills, certain movements, he felt that it was productive,” manager Alex Cora said. … LHP Drew Pomeranz (biceps tendinitis) will make a rehab start Saturday with Triple-A Pawtucket. … RHP Stephen Wright (left knee inflammation) has been slowed in his rehab and likely won’t be activated before the All-Star break. … 1B Mitch Moreland (back spasms) was not in the lineup again. He has not played since one at-bat Tuesday, but Cora said he likely would start Saturday.
Royals: INF Cheslor Cuthbert (lower back strain) is 4 for 15 with one home run in his first five games on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha.
UP NEXT: Red Sox: LHP David Price starts Saturday for the first time since being removed after allowing eight runs in 3 1/3 innings Sunday against the Yankees.
Royals: RHP Brad Keller gets the ball for Kansas City. He pitched a six-hitter at Seattle in his previous start, but lost 1-0.