After fifth-inning spark, Red Sox hold off KC

After fifth-inning spark, Red Sox hold off KC

After fifth-inning spark, Red Sox hold off KC
BOSTON -- The reassembled Red Sox won their first game of the club's new era.

One day after their blockbuster trade with the Dodgers, the Red Sox beat the Royals, 8-6, on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park.

Playing without slugger David Ortiz for the second straight game, the Red Sox tallied 14 hits. Ortiz was unavailable with soreness in his right Achilles.

"Just really proud of the guys, they were tired today, no doubt about that," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, who was ejected in the fifth inning. "Big hit after big hit. They're all contributing. They want to contribute, they want to be part of a good offensive team and they're scoring some runs."

Pedro Ciriaco led the charge with three hits -- including a home run -- two RBIs and two runs. His solo shot in the fifth brought the Red Sox within one, and his RBI single in the seventh proved to be the difference for Boston.

"He's been great," said second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who added insurance with a homer in the eighth. "He's putting the ball on the barrel, running the bases well, playing great defense. He's been awesome, he's learning too. He's playing the game right, it's fun."

First-base umpire Dan Bellino ejected Valentine in the bottom of the fifth, two batters after Ciriaco's homer. Valentine was arguing a close play at first base after Bellino called Pedroia out on a grounder to third. It was Valentine's fifth ejection this year.

As Valentine walked off the field, the crowd rose to its feet and gave the manager a standing ovation in a sign of approval.

"I was still steaming, but I think they got the team excited," Valentine said of the fans' reaction. "When they got on their feet, the team wanted to keep them on their feet, and that was good."

With Valentine tossed, the crowd still buzzing and Jacoby Ellsbury at third, first baseman James Loney -- in his Red Sox debut -- tied the game at 4 with an RBI single in the fifth. It was his first hit as a member of the Red Sox after being acquired from Los Angeles.

"It's one of the best atmospheres in baseball playing here with all the tradition," Loney said. "You always want to make a good impression. It felt good."

An inning later, Ellsbury put the Red Sox back in front, 5-4, with an RBI single in the sixth. His liner to right barely escaped the glove of first baseman Eric Hosmer as he leaped to try and make a catch.

"It was a lot slower than I thought," Hosmer said. "I thought it was hit a lot harder off the bat. I jumped too early for it."

Reliever Pedro Beato earned the win in his Red Sox debut. The right-hander entered to start the sixth and tossed two-plus innings with two strikeouts. He was acquired from the Mets on Aug. 14 in a trade for catcher Kelly Shoppach.

Beato took the mound again in the eighth, but he loaded the bases without recording an out. Craig Breslow came on in relief and struck out the first batter he faced. The left-hander surrendered a sac fly and an RBI single -- both charged to Beato -- and then struck out Lorenzo Cain to end the threat.

"He got the whole team out of a big jam," Beato said of Breslow. "He minimized the damage and that's what his job was."

Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his first save as a member of the Red Sox. It was the right-hander's first save since September 22 of last year, when he was with the Astros.

"It was awesome and really exciting and I love being in that situation," Melancon said. "I can't even explain the feeling, it's so much fun."

Melancon got the ball in the ninth because closer Alfredo Aceves was serving the second game of a three-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team. Right-hander Andrew Bailey was also unavailable after pitching in the three straight games.

Felix Doubront made his first start for the Red Sox since Aug. 9 at Cleveland. He was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday after missing a few starts with a right knee contusion.

Doubront allowed four runs on six hits in five innings. The left-hander struck out seven against two walks and threw 98 pitches.

In his first start in over two weeks, Doubront cruised through three innings before getting in trouble in the fourth. He got the first two outs then started to unravel. The Royals hit three straight singles before Cain took Doubront deep for a three-run homer into the Green Monster seats to give Kansas City a 4-2 lead.

"I felt great, I just missed a couple of pitches and gave up some runs," Doubront said. "I had a little bit of rust."

But Doubront regrouped and retired the final four batters he faced to end his outing.

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.