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Kansas City Royals vs. Boston Red Sox Free Pick - 8/8/13

Boston Red Sox (70-46) at Kansas City Royals (58-53)

MLB Baseball: Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 8:10 pm (Kauffman Stadium)

Jon Lester (L) (10-6) (4.521) vs. Bruce Chen (L) (1-0) (1.500)

Kansas City Royals +109 / Boston Red Sox -119 --- Over/Under: 8 See the Latest Odds

TV: FSKC/NESN

The Boston Red Sox try cooling off the improving Kansas City Royals Thursday night to open a four-game set. KC is 13-2 during their last 15 games, including a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.

The Royals erased 1-0 and 2-1 deficits in the rubber match to get the victory over Minnesota, who had four fewer hits, 10-14. Kansas City tied things up twice via Alcides Escobar's single and Alex Gordon's home run. The Royals scored twice more with Escobar's and Gordon's bat, while Lorenzo Cain's fifth-inning RBI-single tallied another.

Kansas City Royals vs. Boston Red Sox Free Pick - 8/8/13

USA TODAY Sports

Elsewhere, Boston rallied past the Houston Astros 7-5. The Sox struck first off of Brock Holt's and Matt Carp's groundouts, although Houston led 5-2 after six. The Red Sox pulled within one during the top of the seventh on Jonny Gomes' HR. Stephen Drew's HR two frames later served as the game-winning hit.

Jon Lester (10-6, 4.52 ERA) hurls next for Boston, seeking his third straight victory. Lester's last two decisions came at the Baltimore Orioles and to the Tampa Bay Rays, conceding two runs during 13.1 innings. Lester however was trashed at the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners earlier in July, allowing eight runs during 11.1 frames.

Overall, Lester is 5-6 in away games. Lester won his first four road duels by yielding six runs during 26 innings. Lester fell in his next six away starts, surrendering 30 runs, 29 earned, during 33.1 frames. KC split affairs with Lester last year stroking in four, one earned, and three runs during five and seven innings. Lester was defeated 4-3 at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals are 24-of-107 with 10 RBIs, two belonging to Elliot Johnson, versus Lester.

Kansas City comes back with Bruce Chen (4-0, 2.03 ERA) in Game One. Chen is 2-0 at Kauffman, downing Baltimore and TB, giving up one and zero runs during six and two frames.

The Royals, however, are 4-8 when Chen tosses, 1-5 when he goes at least three innings. The Sox lost 4-2 in Boston to KC while getting 0.2 blank frames from Chen. Against Chen, the Red Sox are 24-of-95 with 16 RBIs, half from David Ortiz.

Boston -119

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