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Royals, Red Sox go at it again in Beantown

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Kansas City Royals and Boston Red Sox will clash for the second time as part of a three-game set at Fenway Park Saturday.

It could be a low-scoring duel as each team sends a pitcher to the mound with a sub-3.00 earned run average.

For the Royals, Danny Duffy will take to the hill for the start. Duffy sports a well below-average 5-9 record, but has managed to keep opponents' scoring to a minimum this season, posting a 2.76 ERA.

He's lost his last two starts, but gave up only two runs (one earned) in a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Tigers on July 11 in his most recent outing. In his last five starts, Duffy has picked up just one win to go against four losses.

Duffy has made three starts against the Red Sox in his career, and owns an 0-1 record and a 7.07 ERA. Though his ERA on the road is still low (2.34), he only owns a 4-5 record away from home.

The Red Sox will battle back against Duffy's low ERA by sending Rubby De La Rosa out for the start. De La Rosa has made just six starts this season, but owns a 2-2 record with a 2.89 ERA in those appearances.

De La Rosa, a 25-year-old right-hander who was called up from the minors earlier this season, looks to have solidified a spot in the rotation. He picked up two no-decisions in his most recent two starts. Against the White Sox on July 9, De La Rosa pitched five innings and allowed three runs and struck out just three batters.

He's pitched once against Kansas City in his career, going one inning and allowing two runs (two home runs) for an 18.00 ERA.

The Royals held a 4-1 advantage over the Red Sox Friday night through five innings, but thanks to two two-run homers in the bottom half of the sixth inning, Boston was able to take the lead and hold on for the 5-4 victory.

Xander Bogaerts sent a shot deep to center field, which plated him and Daniel Nava to cut the deficit to 4-3 Royals. Then Jonny Gomes went deep later in the inning on a pinch-hit homer, which scored Stephen Drew, for the 5-4 lead.

"For me, that's the opportunity I feast on," Gomes said.

Clay Buchholz earned the win for Boston despite giving up 10 hits and four earned runs through six innings of work.

Scott Downs, who came on in relief for James Shields, allowed the winning homer to Gomes, which gave him the loss.

Eric Hosmer registered two RBI for the Royals on the night. He went 3-for-5 at the plate.

The Red Sox have now won five of their last six games, while Kansas City has dropped four of its last five games.

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