With one former Royal supplying the pitching and another passing along some inside information, the Boston Red Sox had little trouble Wednesday.
Bret Saberhagen, back in the ballpark where he won two Cy Young Awards, allowed four hits in eight innings as the Red Sox beat Kansas City 9-3 for their fifth victory in six games.
"It's always a joy to come back here," said Saberhagen (9-4), who won 110 games in Kansas City from 1984-91.
"This is where I started. A lot of good memories," Saberhagen said. "This stadium just gets prettier."
Boston pounded Jose Rosado (7-9) for six runs and five hits in just four innings. While Saberhagen did not walk anybody, Rosado walked five, all in the four-run fourth inning.
"We were able to capitalize on mistakes," said Mike Stanley, who walked, singled, homered and scored three runs.
Jose Offerman, another former Royal, hit a two-run double off Rosado.
"I remember talking to Offerman before the game and he re-emphasized that this guy lives on the inner half and the outer half and doesn't give you anything in the middle of the plate," Stanley said. "But one of the hits I got was in the middle of the plate. He was just off the mark today and we were able to take advantage."
Boston, which began the day one game behind Toronto in the AL wild-card race, also got a home run from Butch Huskey as the Royals lost for the sixth timin seven games.
Saberhagen threw just 76 pitches in eight innings.
"So there's another barrier he's knocked down," Boston manager Jimy Williams said. "There's another step up."
"Saberhagen pitched great," said Sweeney, who is hitting .338. "He came right at us, was aggressive and threw a lot of strikes. There's no excuses."
Huskey's 18th homer put Boston ahead 2-0 in the second.
Sweeney hit an RBI grounder in the fourth, and Stanley's 15th homer put Boston ahead 7-2 in the seventh. The Red Sox added two unearned runs off Brad Rigby in the eighth on third baseman Joe Randa's fielding error on John Valentin's grounder and Huskey's RBI infield single.
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