Red Sox beat Royals, sweep seven-game homestand

BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Red Sox made winning look easy at Fenway Park the past few days.

A no-hitter, two grand slams in a game and two pitchers coming up from Triple-A to get wins -- it couldn't have gone much better in a four-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals.

J.D. Drew and Mike Lowell supplied the slams Thursday to help Daisuke Matsuzaka remain unbeaten as Boston completed a perfect seven-game homestand with an 11-8 win over the Royals.

The series started with Jon Lester's no-hitter on Monday and closed with Lowell and Drew joining the club's record books. It was just the fourth time Boston has had two slams in a game at home.

"Everybody feels like they're doing something for us, and they are," Boston manager Terry Francona said.

After Lester's gem, Justin Masterson and Bartolo Colon were called up from Pawtucket and picked up wins.

"It closed a nice homestand for us," Lowell said. "The thing I like most is we plugged two new guys in."

Drew and Lowell were the first to hit slams in the same game at Fenway since Tony Armas and Bill Buckner did it Aug. 7, 1984. The last time Boston had two slams in a game was when the switch-hitting Bill Mueller hit both -- one from each side -- at Texas on July 29, 2003.

"They started it off by a no-hitter and we didn't pitch good against their potent offense," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "We didn't do a whole lot offensively until today."

Boston's seven wins came after it dropped the final four of a 4-6 road trip. The Red Sox open a 10-game trip in Oakland on Friday night.

Lowell also had a double and single for the Red Sox, who started the homestand with a three-game sweep of Milwaukee.

Jose Guillen went 4-for-5 with a solo homer and three RBIs, and Miguel Olivo had three hits and five RBIs for Kansas City.

Matsuzaka (8-0) gave up three runs on six hits, walked six, struck out seven and threw two wild pitches while becoming the AL's first eight-game winner. Arizona's Brandon Webb has nine wins.

Jonathan Papelbon got the final three outs for his 14th save.

Matsuzaka became only the second Japanese-born pitcher to start a season 8-0 in the majors. Hideki Irabu started 1999 with eight wins for the New York Yankees.

"I'm very grateful that I've been given the chance to get these wins under these circumstances," Matsuzaka said of the run support through a translator.

With Boston trailing 1-0 in the second, Manny Ramirez, Lowell and Kevin Youkilis each singled before Drew drove Brian Bannister's fastball into the second row of the Green Monster seats. Youkilis' RBI single made it 5-1 in the third.

"I fouled a ball off my foot and walked around a little bit, thinking before I got back in the box," Drew said. "It's kind of nice to be home and play well in front of your fans."

Ramirez went 1-for-4 with a single but remains two homers shy of becoming the 24th player in major league history to hit 500.

Lowell hit his slam off reliever Jimmy Gobble to cap a six-run sixth that made it 11-3, after Ramirez was intentionally walked. Lowell's line drive hit off a lightstand above the Monster on a red-and-white sign with the numbers '498' that signify Ramirez's home run mark.

Bannister (4-6), who allowed seven runs on 12 hits, couldn't work his daytime magic against the hot Red Sox. Entering the game, he was 4-0 with a 0.62 ERA in starts under the sun.

"When you're facing the best lineup in the league, especially at home with that short porch in left, I feel we're going to score runs, too," Bannister said. "You go in there just ready to battle. They're a very patient lineup."

Kansas City scored a pair in the fifth when Alex Gordon walked leading off -- the sixth allowed by Dice-K -- and scored on Guillen's RBI double. Olivo's run-scoring double cut it to 5-3.

Guillen's RBI single made it 1-0 in the first. His homer came against reliever Craig Hansen in the seventh.

Olivo's three-run homer cut it to 11-8 in the eighth.

Game notes
Boston has won 10 straight in Fenway, its longest streak since 14 from July 19-Aug. 26, 2005. ... It was Drew's first regular season slam with Boston. He had one in Game 6 of last season's ALCS. ... Drew had Wednesday's game off after fouling a ball off his right knee the previous night. ... Matsuzaka threw a season-high 118 pitches. ... Francona rested catcher Jason Varitek after the club played a night game Wednesday. He's expected to get two straight days, with backup Kevin Cash scheduled to make his usual start catching knuckeballer Tim Wakefield on Friday. ... Right-hander Clay Buchholz, on the 15-day DL with a broken middle fingernail, is slated to make a rehab start Sunday for Triple-A Pawtucket. ... The Royals' season-high 11-game trip concludes with four games in Toronto beginning Friday night. ... Cash made his first start with Matsuzaka pitching.