Mondesi 464-foot HR helps Royals beat Boston 5-3, stop skid

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Kansas City Royals’ Hunter Dozier, left, congratulates teammate Adalberto Mondesi on his three-run home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, June 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) —

Adalberto Mondesi hit a 464 foot three-run homer, Salvador Pérez added his 18th home run this season, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Boston Red Sox 5-3 on Friday night for only their second win in their last 13 games.

Kansas City trailed 1-0 before Mondesi’s third-inning home run off Nick Pivetta (6-3), Mondesi’s fourth home run in nine games this season. Mondesi has nine RBIs.

“That ball was as far ball as you’ll see hit,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “He’s a difference maker, and it’s fun to watch.”

Before a season-high crowd of 29,870 at Kauffman Stadium, Kris Bubic (2-2) won despite allowing two runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings. Greg Holland pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save, and the Royals stopped their six-game losing streak.

“It was a good win,” Matheny said. “Every one of them is, but they’re a good team.”

Boston’s Christian Arroyo was ejected by plate umpire Jim Wolf after he took a called third strike for the second out of the ninth on a pitch that Arroyo thought was inside.

Whit Merrifield had his fourth straight multi-hit game, including an RBI double in the fifth that boosted Kansas City’s lead to 4-2.

The Red Sox went 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight runners.

Boston faced Kansas City for the first time since dealing outfielder Andrew Benintendi to the Royals on Feb. 10 as part of a three-team trade. Benintendi is missing the series because of a broken rib.

Kansas City used an opener for the first time this season, and Kyle Zimmer allowed three hits in two scoreless innings.

“Coming into the day, there was a few scenarios discussed,” Bubic said. “I just tried to stay ready and prepared for a normal start. I tried to just think one inning at a time.”

Pivetta gave up three runs and six hits in five innings. He is 0-3 in four starts after starting the season 6-0.

“We just need to turn the page and try to tie the series tomorrow,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.

Alex Verdugo’s RBI single put Boston ahead in the third, and J.D. Martinez hit a run-scoring single in the fifth that closed the Red Sox to 3-2.

Pérez homered in the seventh off Matt Andriese, a drive just over the wall in right.

Rafael Devers hit his 17th homer, a solo drive in the eighth off Scott Barlow, who had not allowed a home run in 38 innings.

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