Maybe Boston gave up on Jeff Suppan too soon.
Left unprotected by Boston in the 1997 expansion draft, Suppan pitched a four-hitter Monday night for his second consecutive complete game, leading the Kansas City Royals over the Red Sox 5-2.
Suppan (7-6), taken by Arizona after the Red Sox didn't protect him, was coming off the second complete game of his career, a 7-0 win over Anaheim that was his first career shutout.
So does it give him satisfaction to beat the club that gave up on him?
Suppan is 1-1 against the Red Sox after losing to them in his first appearance this season.
As far as four-hitters go, this was a noisy one. Trot Nixon and Troy O'Leary hit home runs and Reggie Jefferson and Brian Daubach each tripled. Suppan walked three and struck out three as the Royals stopped a four-game losing skid and Boston's three-game winning streak.
"The kid's fought back through some adversity," Boston manager Jimy Williams saud. "You tip your cap to their pitching coach and him and his work ethic. He stayed after it. He pitched good."
Jermaine Dye homered twice, and Johnny Damon had a single, double and triple. Mike Sweeney singled leading off the eighth to stretch his hitting streak to 21 games, the longest current streak in the majors.
Dye hit a solo homer in the third off Mark Portugal (7-9) that made it 4-1, then connected against Portugal again in the sixth for his third two-homer game, all this season. Dye has 22 homers and 92 RBIs.
"My first one was a fastball up and away. My second one was a curveball," Dye said. "Today I just wanted to come out and try to be relaxed and use my hands a little bit more."
Boston, which dropped one game behind Toronto in the AL wild-card race, fell behind 2-0 in the first.
"I thought I made some pretty good pitches in the first inning but they hit them," Portugal said. "Once again I put the team down in the early innings."
Portugal allowed all five runs four earned and seven hits in six innings.
Damon scored on a fielder's choice by Sweeney, and Dye made it 2-0 with an RBI single. Damon added an RBI triple in the second.
Nixon homered in the third, and the homers by Dye made it 4-1. O'Leary connected in the seventh, matching his career high of 23 homers.
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