KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Steven Wright got another chance to showcase his knuckleball. The results were impressive.
Wright, a September call up from Triple-A Pawtucket, replaced starter Rubby De La Rosa in the fifth inning with the Red Sox trailing 5-1 and baffled the Royals with his knuckler.
''I think the biggest thing I've been able to do the last couple of outings is throw strikes with it,'' Wright said. ''If I throw strikes, it's going to make them have to swing. Hopefully they miss-hit it.''
Wright is able to vary the knuckleball three different ways.
''It's huge,'' he said. ''They know I'm going to throw it. If I can add and subtract from it, it keeps them off-balance, so they don't time it.''
Manager Ned Yost overhauled his batting order and got immediate results. The Royals scored seven runs for the first time since Aug. 19, a span of 22 games.
Aoki, batting second for the first time this season, and Gordon, who snapped an 0-for-22 skid, each had two hits, scored a run and drove in a run.
Infante, who usually bats second, was dropped to seventh and responded with three singles, including an eighth inning single that scored Lorenzo Cain. He also drove in a run in the third with a fielder's choice.
Guthrie (11-11), who was roughed up for eight runs on 10 hits in 2 2-3 innings in a loss Monday at Detroit, allowed three hits and one unearned run in eight innings.
After David Ortiz's single in the third, Guthrie did not allow a base runner.
Rubby De La Rosa (4-7) was pulled after four innings and 65 pitches, permitting five runs on six hits. He balked home Salvador Perez, who had an RBI double in the three-run third.
Allen Craig delivered a pinch-hit single in the ninth to snap an 0-for-13 skid. It was his first successful pinch hit June 20, 2013, for St. Louis.
Red Sox: INF Brock Holt remains sidelined with a concussion and there is no timetable for his return. He is still having vison problems.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy, who skipped a start Thursday with a sore shoulder, is scheduled for a mound session Sunday. He is optimistic he will make his start Tuesday against Chicago. . DH Josh Willingham remains out with a groin injury.
Red Sox: RHP Joe Kelly will make his eighth start since being acquired in a July 31 trade with St. Louis.
He last faced the Royals on June 22, 2012.
Royals: LHP Jason Vargas will start the series finale. He is 6-4 with a 3.98 ERA at home this season.