BOSTON – Rubby De La Rosa quietly walked up behind reporters waiting for him and went unnoticed before he got their attention.
His actions are much louder on the Fenway Park mound.
De La Rosa had another strong home start, going seven solid innings to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 2-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.
“He’s been outstanding at home,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “Even in the couple of situations where we gave an extra base runner, he shut it down and pitched with a lot of poise tonight.”
Mike Napoli hit a tiebreaking homer, sending the defending World Series champions to their sixth win in seven games. Boston is looking to climb back into the race from the AL East’s basement.
Red Sox closer Koji Uehara posted 20 saves for the second year in a row after pitching a scoreless ninth inning.
Uehara, who holds a 1.58 ERA, became the third Japanese pitcher to register 20 saves in consecutive years after Kazuhiro Sasaki and Takashi Saito. He got a fly out and a groundout sandwiched between a strikeout of Mike Moustakas swinging.
“This year I’ve been struggling with control — it still isn’t there yet,” said Uehara. “It’s good to finish getting one out at a time, and win one by one so that the team can move up.”
Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer extended his career-best hitting streak to 15 games with a single. The Royals lost for the eighth time in 11 games, falling to 10-20 in one-run games after leading the AL with 31 victories last season.
Napoli’s homer cleared a billboard atop the Green Monster seats and completely left the park in the sixth.
De La Rosa (3-2) gave up one run on five hits, walking four and striking out two. He worked out of trouble most of his outing.
Danny Duffy (5-10) allowed two runs — one earned — on six hits in 6⅔ innings.
Royals right fielder Norichika Aoki was hitless in two at-bats.
Indians 6, Tigers 2 (1st)
Indians 5, Tigers 2 (2nd)
In Detroit, Carlos Santana hit a tiebreaking, bases-clearing double off Joe Nathan (4-3) with two outs in the ninth to complete a doubleheader sweep. Cleveland has won four straight to pull within 4½ games of the AL Central-leading Tigers.
In the opener, Corey Kluber (10-6) came within an out of a complete game, striking out 10. He allowed seven hits, including three by Miguel Cabrera.
Mariners 3, Angels 2 (12)
In Anaheim, Logan Morrison hit a go-ahead RBI double during Seattle’s two-run 12th inning, and the Mariners hung on to beat the Angels.
The AL West rivals played extra innings for the second straight night, less than 24 hours after Los Angeles won the series opener 3-2 in 16 innings.
Blue Jays 4, Rangers 1
In Toronto, Marcus Stroman (5-2) gave up four hits in seven shutout innings to snap a three-start winless streak, and Dan Johnson had two RBIs for the hosts.
Melky Cabrera had three hits as the Blue Jays won for the first time in four games. Teammate Munenori Kawasaki went 1-for-5 with an RBI.
Aaron Loup got three outs for his third save.
Rays 5, Twins 1
In Minneapolis, Tampa Bay’s David Price (10-7) gave up four hits in eight scoreless innings to win five straight starts for the first time in his major league career. He walked none and struck out nine to increase his major league-leading total to 173.
Jake McGee got two outs for his eighth save in nine chances, completing a five-hitter for the Rays, who have won four straight.
Phil Hughes (10-6) allowed five runs and 11 hits in seven innings, matching the most hits against a Twins starter this season.
White Sox 4, Astros 3
In Chicago, Tyler Flowers had three hits and drove in the go-ahead run against Houston.
Yankees 7, Reds 1
In New York, Brandon McCarthy earned his first win for the Yankees with an impressive debut in pinstripes, and Brett Gardner drove in three runs from the leadoff spot to send the hosts past Cincinnati.
New York outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was hitless in four at-bats, striking out twice.
Reds All-Star Alfredo Simon (12-4) gave up four runs — two earned — and five hits in five innings. He had been 6-0 with a 2.47 ERA in eight starts since a 6-3 loss at Dodger Stadium on May 27.