Royals can't overcome early hole

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Odalis Perez was not bothered by a finger blister that hindered him in Spring Training, but getting out of the first inning on Wednesday night was bothersome.
Perez allowed three runs with two outs in the first inning of the Royals' 7-1 loss to the Red Sox. He gave up back-to-back doubles to Manny Ramirez and J.D. Drew in the first.

Perez went 5 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on five hits and three walks before being replaced by Joakim Soria, who was making his Major League debut.

Jason LaRue drove in the lone Royals run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. LaRue's fly scored Emil Brown, who had walked and momentarily stopped at second on Ross Gload's double.

The Royals had a chance to score in the third when Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell committed fielding errors on back-to-back plays with one out. Red Sox starter Josh Beckett, however, recovered to strike out Mark Teahen after falling behind in the count 3-0 and retired Mike Sweeney on a fly to right-center.

The Royals managed just three hits off Beckett and four Red Sox relievers.

The Royals trailed, 4-1, after six innings, but Todd Wellemeyer, the third of five Kansas City pitchers, gave up a two-run homer to Kevin Youkilis in the seventh inning.

Alan Eskew is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

By Alan Eskew / Special to

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