BOSTON (AP) — Dustin Pedroia came to the plate in the eighth inning knowing he had some sort of special streak going.
He just wasn’t exactly sure how historic it was.
Pedroia had four hits to extend his streak to 11 straight at-bats before bouncing into a double play with a chance to tie the major-league record, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 8-3 on Saturday night.
“I heard something,” said Pedroia, the 2008 AL MVP. “I didn’t know what it was. I was going to the bathroom and heard them say it on TV.”
Pedroia’s streak, which stretched over three games, ended in the eighth inning. The big league mark of hits in 12 straight official at-bats is shared by Walt Dropo for Detroit in 1952, Pinky Higgins of the Red Sox in 1938 and Johnny Kling of the Cubs in 1902.
“Whenever your name is up there with guys in black and white photos, it’s pretty special,” winning pitcher David Price said. “He’s a gamer. He’s a very special teammate. Everybody on this team cherishes what he brings to his team each and every day.”
Xander Bogaerts homered and drove in three runs, and Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez hit consecutive homers for Boston, which snapped a three-game losing streak with its 11th win in 16 games.
Price (13-8) won his fourth straight start, giving up two runs in six innings to lower his ERA to 3.97, the lowest it’s been since after his first start of the season.
Danny Duffy (11-2) gave up three homers and seven runs in five innings, halting a personal 10-game winning streak.
Salvador Perez hit two solo homers for the Royals, who lost for just the fourth time 20 games.
Even Royals manager Ned Yost could appreciate the run Pedroia was on.
“He’s been hotter than a firecracker, for sure,” he said. “I mean 4 for 4 last night, 4 for 5 tonight. He had a real hot streak and what’s amazing to me is he keeps his bat in the zone for so long he can handle so many pitches. Just a really good hitter. I’ve always thought that about him though.”
Duffy had allowed two or fewer runs in five straight starts — and six of seven — before Boston took care of that string with two each in the first and second innings.
Two batters in, the Red Sox jumped ahead 2-0 on Bogaerts’ 16th homer, a drive that completely left Fenway Park over the Green Monster after Pedroia singled.
In the bottom of the second after the Royals had tied it, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Pedroia had consecutive RBIs doubles, pushing Boston in front 4-2.
Perez homered and Alcides Escobar had an RBI double in the top of the inning.
Pedroia collected his 10th consecutive hit with a run-scoring single to make it 5-2 in the fourth. His 11th was a ground single to center in the sixth. He then bounced into the double play in the eighth.
Betts hit his 29th, a solo shot, in the fifth and Ramirez followed with his two pitches later to nearly the same spot, two rows into the Monster seats about three fans apart. After watching Ramirez’s drive land in the seats, Duffy just smiled in disbelief as he waited for a new ball from home plate umpire Adrian Johnson.
Royals: RHP Wade Davis (flexor strain), LHP Jason Vargas (recovering from Tommy John surgery) and RHP Kris Medlen (right rotator cuff inflammation) were all expected to pitch for Triple-A Omaha on Saturday.
Red Sox: Manager John Farrell said RHP Koji Uehara (strained chest muscle) threw 53 pitches with “good intensity” in a bullpen session on Friday and he’s expected to throw again Monday. … C Ryan Hanigan (left ankle tendinitis) started a rehab assignment with Double-A Portland on Saturday.
David Ortiz played his 2,000 game as a DH (1721 for Boston, 279 Minnesota), most ever in the big leagues. Harold Baines (1980-2001) is next with 1,643.
A fan in the upper deck reached over the railing with his glove a foot or so and grabbed a foul ball behind home plate.
Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura (9-9, 4.27 ERA) is set to start the series finale on Sunday night. He’s 3-0 with a 2.03 ERA in six starts this month.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (2-5, 5.11) is expected to start for the first time since leaving his Aug. 16 start with tightness in his left hamstring. The lefty was scratched the night before his scheduled start last Sunday.
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