KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Justin Maxwell has provided a huge boost for Kansas City since coming over from the Astros.
Maxwell homered and then singled twice in a six-run sixth as the Kansas City Royals rallied for a 9-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
The Royals have won 15 of their past 17 games to move seven games above .500, matching their best record of the season. They are 4 1-2 games back in the wild-card standings.
"It's just team chemistry, no matter who's at the plate or who's on the mound, we all have each other's backs," Maxwell said. "That's the main thing."
Maxwell, who the Royals acquired on July 31 from the Astros for a minor league pitcher, homered leading off the second.
With the Royals trailing 6-3 in the sixth, he led off the inning with a single. The Royals sent 11 men to the plate in the inning against Red Sox pitchers Jake Peavy, Drake Britton and Pedro Beato.
"I led off, just trying to get on base, not do too much," Maxwell said. "It was just one good at-bat after another good at-bat. I think that's how you roll."
Maxwell was making his first start in center and only his fourth start since joining the Royals, but manager Ned Yost promises he will be seeing plenty more action.
"He's got the opportunity to change the game with one swing," Yost said. "We'll keep running him out there."
Peavy, who was making his second Red Sox start since being acquired in a July 30 trade from the Chicago White Sox, yielded singles to Maxwell, Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar to start the inning. Escobar's RBI single finished Peavy.
"With the way Jake had settled in, he had good innings in the fourth and fifth, and we'd gained momentum for ourselves, he probably had one inning left with his pitch count," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "I'm not going to say it was surprising, but he left some balls up and they made him pay.
"The put away pitch was a challenge for how they put the ball in play and go the other way. We just couldn't stop the momentum in the sixth."
Eric Hosmer's two-run single with two outs off Britton put the Royals on top 7-6. David Lough contributed a sacrifice fly, while Billy Butler doubled home Hosmer. Maxwell's second single in the inning scored Butler with the final run.
Mike Napoli, a career .368 hitter off Royals right-hander Ervin Santana, cleared the bases with a two-out third inning three-run double.