Royals hold off Red Sox

Kansas City, Mo. - Bruce Chen picked up his first victory of the season, Alcides Escobar drove in the go-ahead run and the Kansas City Royals held off the Boston Red Sox 4-3 Wednesday night.

Jonathan Broxton worked around a leadoff single and walk in the ninth inning for his seventh save in eight opportunities.

Chen (1-4) gave up three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings while striking out five and walking none. The Royals were winless in his first six starts this season.

The Royals beat Jon Lester (1-3) for the first time since Aug. 8, 2006. The left-hander came into the game with a 5-1 record and 1.30 ERA in seven career starts against Kansas City, including a no-hitter in 2008.

Escobar's double in the fourth Irving Falu, who led off the inning with a double, to put the Royals ahead 4-3.

Lester's pitch count rose early with a 38-pitch first inning, but 12 of those were after center fielder Marlon Byrd's error led to three unearned runs.

Lester was pulled after 108 pitches and five innings, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk.

In the first inning, Byrd misjudged Johnny Giavotella's two-out liner and the ball ricocheted off his glove as he jumped for it. The misplay allowed Billy Butler, who had walked, to score.

Brayan Pena then hit a two-run double to left-center that Cody Ross nearly caught. Ross had his glove on the ball, but it came loose and hit the wall.

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine debated Ross held onto the ball long enough _ the umpires held a conference on the field, but did not change the ruling.

Adrian Gonzalez hit a three-run double in the Boston third, driving in Byrd, Ryan Sweeney and Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia's single extended his hitting streak to a season-high 10 games.

NOTES: Chen had not beaten the Red Sox since July 9, 2005, while with Baltimore. ... The Royals called up Giavotella, who was hitting .483 in May and .331 in 31 games with Triple-A Omaha. They placed LHP Jonathan Sanchez on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis. ... Boston 3B Kevin Youkilis, who is on the disabled list with a lower back strain, is penciled in for some baseball activity Thursday when the Red Sox return home.

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