Kansas City Royals defeat Boston Red Sox, 4-3

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Sitting in his office at Kauffman Stadium yesterday afternoon, Terry Francona found himself discussing, at length, Curt Schilling's return to the starting rotation, which comes tonight, 123 days since he last started a game.

''I actually think we've done pretty well," Francona reflected. ''We were in Texas [July 4] and we weren't real hot. We lose our closer [Keith Foulke]. Schilling goes back in the bullpen. We've more than held our own."

Indeed,...